From the Media

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.

Leominster Retirement Board hit over pension-hike denial

By Jack Minch

LEOMINSTER -- A statewide association representing retired municipal employees is criticizing the city's Retirement Board for voting in July not to give retirees a cost-of-living pay increase in their pensions for the fifth straight year.

U.S. Public Pensions Show Biggest Investment Gain in Three Years

U.S. state and local-government pension investments gained the most in three years as stocks soared, according to a report to be released today by Wilshire Associates Inc.

Retirees Endorse Kerrigan in lieutenant governor's race

The Retired, State, County and Municipal Employees Association of Massachusetts announced its unanimous endorsement of Steve Kerrigan for lieutenant governor, noting that the former longtime aide to Sen. Ted Kennedy is the right person to help lead Massachusetts forward.

The endorsement comes on the heels of Kerrigan’s victory at the Massachusetts Democratic State Convention in June. The former Lancaster selectman won the most support among the four candidates for lieutenant governor.

Pension Deal Edges Detroit a Step Closer to Recovery

New York Times
April 16, 2014

Detroit’s pension boards and a retirees’ group say they have reached tentative agreements with the city that could serve as a breakthrough in its quest to settle with its major creditors and propel itself out of bankruptcy before the end of the year.

Winchester retiree health costs revisited

By Kathy McCabe
Globe Staff April 10, 2014

Winchester selectmen have scaled back a plan to make retirees pay half the cost of their health insurance premiums, a plan that ignited a backlash from retired town workers.

The Board of Selectmen now proposes increasing premiums to 30 percent for people who retired before 2004, and phasing in the plan over an 18-month period, starting July 1. Later retirees would still pay 50 percent of their premiums, but it would be phased in over two years, according to the proposal.

Obama to drop entitlement cuts from 2015 budget

By REID J. EPSTEIN and EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE | 2/20/14 1:34 PM EST Updated: 2/21/14 5:36 AM EST

President Barack Obama is done pretending that he’ll get any new budget cooperation from House Republicans.

His proposed 2015 budget, due to be released next month, will stick to the economic strategy the White House has laid out without the compromise suggestion he floated last year, White House officials said Thursday.

Mass. pension fund posts 15.2% gain for ’13

Managers add $7.9 billion to accounts, with biggest increases coming from US stocks

By Beth Healy
Globe Staff  
January 22, 2014

The Massachusetts state pension fund posted a 15.2 percent investment gain for 2013, as strong markets helped the fund’s managers add $7.9 billion to the retirement accounts of public employees.

US stocks provided the biggest boost to the fund, climbing 33.7 percent during the year, followed by investments in private equity, which rose 21.1 percent.