Latest News

GIC APPROVES 2016 COPAYMENT & DEDUCTIBLE HIKE

Association Deeply Opposes $60m Cost Shift

FEBRUARY 17, 2015: Over the objections of our Association and union representatives, the Commonwealth’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) voted to increase copayments and deductibles for Fiscal Year 2016, beginning July 1, 2015.

While this increase marks the first of its kind in more than five years, Association officials strongly oppose what we view as further cost shifting onto the backs of retirees and employees who utilize their insurance benefits.

Association Opposes Increased Copayment & Deductibles

Association Opposes Increased Copayment & Deductibles

GIC Holds Annual Public Hearing

February 4, 2015:  Association officials were present and offered testimony at the state Group Insurance Commission’s (GIC) annual public hearing held today at the State House.

ATTENTION STATE RETIREMENT SYSTEM MEMBERS

ATTENTION STATE RETIREMENT SYSTEM MEMBERS

THERESA MCGOLDRICK ENDORSED FOR STATE RETIREMENT BOARD

Retired state employees who are members will shortly receive a ballot for a very important election. As you know the State Retirement Board has two elected members who serve on staggered three-year terms – Ralph White and Theresa McGoldrick

RETIREMENT SYSTEMS ISSUE 2014 1099

Blizzard May Cause Postal Delays

JANUARY 29, 2015: Tax documents for retired Massachusetts public employees are now in the process of being issued by the 10 retirement systems.

The IRS gives retirement boards (and all employers) through January 30th to issue 1099s to those retirees and surviving spouses who received a retirement allowance in 2014. Some systems have already mailed the forms to retirees. All members should receive their 1099 document by the end of the first week of February.

RETIREE LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE FILED

14 Proposals For 2015-16 Session

JANUARY 16, 2015: The Association has completed the filing process for its 2015-16 Legislative package. Under joint House-Senate rules, the deadline was Friday, January 16, 2015 at 5:00 pm.

All told, fourteen separate bills make up the Association’s proposal for the new session that began on January 7th and lasts through the first Tuesday in January 2017. Bills will shortly be assigned numbers and be assigned to various committees for review.

DISABILITY EARNINGS UPDATE NOW LAW

Legislature & Patrick Act at 11th Hour

JANUARY 8, 2015: Moments before taking his “lone walk” down to the front steps of the State House on his final evening as Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick signed into law our Association’s bill adjusting the outside earnings limits of accidental disability retirees – now Chapter 492, Acts of 2014.

Winter 2015 Association Meetings Approach

Pompano Beach, Tewksbury and St. Petersburg Locations

The Association will be holding its annual winter membership meetings in January and February. Association members are encouraged to attend and welcome to bring a guest. Please note, all Association meetings now begin at 11:00am unless otherwise noted.

GIC REPORTS $120 MILLION DEFICIT

Adds Pressure to Growing State Budget Gap

DECEMBER 19, 2014: As reported in the January 2014 edition of the Voice, the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) is grappling with a significant budget deficit for the current fiscal year.

However, it now appears that the problem is more significant than previously thought. At today’s GIC meeting, Executive Director Dolores Mitchell characterized the deficit as being “north of $120 million” – some $70 million higher than previously thought.

WARNING SIGNS FROM GIC

Budget Shortfall Could Trigger Benefit Changes in 2015

NOVEMBER 21, 2014: At its monthly meeting, the state’s Group Insurance Commission discussed a growing concern for the health plan administrators, as well as our Association – a growing multimillion dollar budget shortfall, combined with a downturn in state tax collections. 

Brady & Neal Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Repeal Windfall Elimination Provision in Social Security

Retirees Would See Current Benefits Increased

NOVEMBER 15, 2014: This week marked the first significant development toward providing retirees with relief from the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) in several years.

On Thursday, Congressmen Richard Neal (D-MA) and Kevin Brady (R-TX) filed H.R. 5697, The Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act. The bill is the direct result of nearly a year’s worth of collaboration between our Association, the Texas Retired Teachers Association and Ohio Retired Teachers.

Retiree Questionnaire Offers Insight on Positions

Coakley Responds, While Baker Declines

OCTOBER 24, 2014: Earlier this month the Association mailed a six-part questionnaire to all five Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates. The goal was to learn the candidates’ views toward public retirees, defined benefit pension plans and retiree health insurance benefits.

Retiree Association Backs Maura Healey For Attorney General

Retiree Association Backs Maura Healey For Attorney General

Vows to Make Affordable Health Care A Priority

Boston – The 62,000 member strong Retired State, County and Municipal Employees Association “Mass Retirees” has endorsed Maura Healey for Attorney General.

The Association cites Healey’s public service background and, specifically, her work on health care issues as the reason for the endorsement.

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.

Retiree Healthcare Siege Continues

MTF Report Misleading

OCTOBER 1, 2014: Last week, the Mass. Taxpayers Foundation (MTF) released its latest report on municipal retiree health insurance. As expected the report finds that the cost of municipal health insurance plans is unsustainable, and as such, benefit reductions are called for. Click here to view the report.

Retiree health costs straining budgets in poorer cities

By Andy Metzger
Published: September 22, 2014

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, SEPT. 22, 2014…..Retiree health care costs are sapping more and more money each year from cities that are ill prepared to weather new fiscal burdens, according to a new report from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

The dynamic of retiree health care costs growing faster than property tax revenues exists throughout Bay State cities and towns, according MTF President Michael Widmer, who said cities where lower incomes predominate have fewer resources to succeed under those conditions.

WEP Reform Talks Ramp Up

WEP Reform Talks Ramp Up

Association Officials Cautiously Optimistic

SEPTEMBER 12, 2014: This week Association officials traveled to Washington, D.C. for a series of meetings on the issue of the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision – AKA the “WEP” law.

Goldberg & Kerrigan Advance To General Election

Goldberg & Kerrigan Advance To General Election

Retiree Turnout Sealed Victories

SEPTEMBER 10, 2014: Association members turned out in droves in support of our endorsed candidates on primary Election Day.

On a day when overall turnout amongst the general voting public was very low, retirees helped propel Deb Goldberg and Steve Kerrigan to victory in the Democratic primary for State Treasurer and Lt. Governor, respectively. Goldberg now faces Republican Michael Heffernan in the General Election November 4th.

Boston Retirement Board Election Underway

Retirees Support McLaughlin & O’Reilly

AUGUST 29, 2014: An election is now underway for the two elected positions on the City of Boston’s Retirement Board. Our Association is proud to support the reelection of Boston teacher Michael McLaughlin, along with the election of Boston fire fighter Michael O’Reilly.

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.

Annual Meeting Friday, September 5th

Annual Meeting Friday, September 5th

This is a quick reminder of our upcoming ANNUAL MEETING:

DATE:    SEPTEMBER 5, 2014
TIME:    11:00 A.M.
SITE:     LANTANA, RANDOLPH

Special Plymouth Area Meeting Tuesday, August 19th

On Tuesday, August 19th at 11:00am we will be hosting a complimentary continental brunch at the Radisson Hotel Plymouth Harbor, Located at 180 Water Street, Plymouth.

Frank Valeri, our Association’s new President will chair the event. Frank has greatly energized our Association since assuming office and is looking forward to sharing his innovative goals with you as a member.

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.