From the Media

State clears way for 5,000 workers to retire early

Some fear move may hurt services

By Joshua Miller Globe Staff  May 05, 2015

Governor Charlie Baker signed an early retirement plan Monday that will soon reduce the state workforce by up to 5,000 employees — a move that is expected to save money but quickly raised worries about an erosion of state services.

Though state lawmakers had expressed some initial skepticism, the House and Senate gave final approval to the proposal hours before the governor signed it. The votes were a victory for Baker and his effort to bridge a daunting state budget shortfall.

Gov. Charlie Baker signs state employee retirement incentive program into law

By Shira Schoenberg
May 04, 2015 at 5:15 PM

BOSTON - Gov. Charlie Baker signed a law establishing a retirement incentive for state employees, on the same day the Legislature sent the bill to his desk.

"We're very happy with the Legislature's compromise on this, and we're thrilled that they acted expeditiously to get this done," Baker told reporters at the Statehouse. "I appreciate the fact that it was a complicated piece of legislation to begin with, and we're looking forward to moving forward on the act of actually implementing it."

New Law to Strip Social Security Numbers From Medicare Cards

WASHINGTON — Concerned about the rising prevalence and sophistication of identity theft, most private health insurance companies have abandoned the use of Social Security numbers to identify individuals. The federal government even forbids private insurers to use the numbers on insurance cards when they provide medical or drug benefits under contract with Medicare.

Baker’s early retirement plan could see House vote this week

By Joshua Miller
Globe Staff  March 23, 2015

In a boost for a key part of Governor Charlie Baker’s budget plan, Speaker Robert A. DeLeo Monday backed a pension-sweetening early retirement program that Baker proposed to help close a gnawing state budget gap.

DeLeo said the House of Representatives intends to vote as soon as this week on the plan, which works to entice thousands of state workers to retire early by offering them a chance to boost their pensions by crediting them with up to five additional years of age or work.

Blue Cross vastly expands quality-based payment systems

The Massachusetts health care industry’s traditional system of paying doctors for every office visit, test, and procedure may be nearing its end.

State to offer early retirement deals; layoffs may follow

Baker to start by offering enhanced-pension deals, hopes for 4,500 takers

By Joshua Miller Globe Staff  March 02, 2015

Facing the prospect of a daunting state budget gap, Governor Charlie Baker will file legislation this week aimed at enticing thousands of state employees to retire early. But if the move does not generate the expected savings, workers will be laid off, a top official said Sunday.

Goldberg brings competitive nature to treasurer role

Goldberg brings competitive nature to treasurer role

By Beth Healy
Globe Staff  February 24, 2015


Deborah Goldberg settles into a chair by the fireplace in the state treasurer’s office, the first woman to take residence there in a dozen years. She has rearranged the furniture, living-room-style, to be more inviting.

Deb Goldberg for state treasurer

The Massachusetts state treasurer could stay busy with the basic responsibilities of managing the state’s cash flow and debt. But the holder of the office has a much broader portfolio, overseeing the state school building fund, lottery, alcoholic beverages commission, public pension fund, state retirement board, and other duties. The position demands an executive with high energy and wide-ranging experience. That candidate is Democrat Deb Goldberg.

Benefits well earned

A Herald editorial cites a recent report by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation on health insurance coverage for retired public employees (“The retiree dilemma,” Sept. 27). Like similar reports filed by the MTF in recent years, this report we believe is flawed and biased toward an ideological position, to cut retiree benefits.

In addition to cherry-picking its data to paint the most dire results, the MTF fails to account for reforms passed in 2009 and 2011. Communities opting into the new laws have collectively saved nearly $250 million in their first year.

The retiree dilemma

September 27, 2014

Boston Herald Editorial

Among those items of unfinished business the Patrick administration — and this sitting of the Legislature — leave behind is any attempt to reform the health care benefits paid to retired municipal workers that are bankrupting the state’s poorest communities.