Latest News

State Loses Top Pension Fund Manager

State Loses Top Pension Fund Manager

JUNE 11, 2012: The resignation of Stan Mavromates, the longtime chief investment officer of the Commonwealth’s $50 billion pension fund, has caused some concern among the retirement systems of the Commonwealth holding membership in the fund.

Although the bulk of the Fund is the State and Teachers’ Pension fund, the majority of our 103 city, town and county boards have placed their pension funds within PRIT and depend on PRIT’s investment earnings to increase the growth and value of their own funds.

Southeastern Mass Brunch This Friday

Southeastern Mass Brunch This Friday

Last Year, we held our first brunch meeting for our members living in the Southeastern region. Because of its success, we're going to do it once again - different date but same place and time.

Friday, June 15, 2012, 11:00 am

Radison Hotel - Plymouth Harbor
180 Water Street, Plymouth

There are plenty of door prizes, as well as guest speakers, and no charge!

ASSOCIATION DEFENDS RETIREE HEALTHCARE BENEFITS

ASSOCIATION DEFENDS RETIREE HEALTHCARE BENEFITS

Presents Report To Special Commission

JUNE 1, 2012: The Special Commission on Retiree Healthcare held its second meeting on Thursday, May 31. Similar to its inaugural meeting in April, the Commission used this meeting to continue its fact-finding inquiry into both state and local retiree healthcare benefits.

State error delays teachers’ benefits

JUNE 1, 2012: State Treasurer Steven Grossman has launched an internal investigation after an ­error by his office delayed benefits payments to about 53,000 retired teachers.

The problem, which affected 92 percent of retired educators whose Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System benefits are electronically deposited into their bank accounts, has been rectified, but the deposits may not go through until Friday, Grossman said.

CORPORATE AMERICA: THE HEIGHT OF ARROGANCE

CORPORATE AMERICA: THE HEIGHT OF ARROGANCE

MAY 23, 2012: A series of articles by the Boston Globe’s Brian McGrory highlighted the excessive salary and perks of Edmund "Ted" Kelly, former CEO of Liberty Mutual here in Massachusetts.

Aside from his multi-million dollar salary, Kelly was a close friend of Liberty Mutual’s Board of Directors, millionaires themselves, who OK’d Kelly’s $50 million salary/compensation package. They each received an annual $200,000 in director’s pay.

SENATE BUDGET DEBATE UNDERWAY

Retirees Eye Amendments

MAY 22, 2012: The state Senate is now in the midst of its debate of the Commonwealth’s $32 billion FY13 budget. Debate on the 694 amendments is expected to last from Wednesday through Friday.

While the Senate has included a full 3% state and teachers COLA within its budget and maintained state retiree insurance rates, there is still work that remains to be done. With the support of Senator Ken Donnelly (D-Arlington), our Association has sponsored two budget amendments.

ANNUAL JUNE LUNCHEON

Space is Limited, Reserve Your Tickets Today!

MAY 11, 2012: June is just around the corner and with it comes our Annual Greater Boston Luncheon to be held on June 22, 2012 at 12:00 noon. Once again, it will be held at the Holiday Inn, Route 1, Dedham.

Our Annual Spring Luncheon is a great opportunity to enjoy lunch with your former coworkers and fellow retirees, while hearing the latest retirement and healthcare news from Association officials. Guests are always welcome at our events as well.

BUDGET DEBATE UNDERWAY IN HOUSE

3% COLA Approved & GIC Rates Maintained

APRIL 25, 2012: This week, debate is underway in the House of Representatives over the Fiscal Year 2013 State Budget. The weeklong debate will consider over 850 amendments to the $32 billion budget proposal.

GIC STATE RETIREES & SURVIVORS UNDER MEDICARE

OME Rates Clarified

APRIL 18, 2012: For the overwhelming majority of Medicare eligible retirees insured through the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC), the insurance plan of choice has long been the Optional Medicare Extension (OME) Plan run by UniCare. Typically, most OME subscribers also include CIC coverage with their basic plan.

COMMISSION FOCUSES ON HEALTHCARE FINANCES

COMMISSION FOCUSES ON HEALTHCARE FINANCES

Recent Insurance & Pension Reforms May Lower Costs

APRIL 6, 2012: On Thursday, the Special Commission to Study Retiree Healthcare held the first of its seven scheduled meetings at the State House. With 9 of its 11 members present, the Commission heard from a series of experts who outlined the complex issues under consideration.

HEALTH CARE COMMISSION GETS UNDERWAY

Focus On Retiree Insurance Cost

APRIL 3, 2012: As we have previously reported, the Association will take part in the Special Commission on Retiree Health Care that gets underway Thursday, April 5.

The eleven-member Commission, created within Chapter 176, Acts of 2011 (Pension Reform), is tasked with further exploring various means by which retiree health insurance costs might be lowered.

Insurers, flexibility, and savings

By Steven Syre
Globe Columnist  
March 30, 2012

The most interesting social experiments start with one basic question: What does it take to make people change the way they do something important?

Health insurance companies doing business in Massachusetts are wrestling with that question right now. They are rolling out all kinds of new medical insurance products, trying to figure out what kinds of limits and restrictions people are willing to accept in order to save money on their premiums.

McGOLDRICK RE-ELECTED TO STATE BOARD

McGOLDRICK RE-ELECTED TO STATE BOARD

Theresa McGoldrick, without opposition, has been re-elected to a 4th three-year term on the State Retirement Board.

McGoldrick serves as one of the State Board’s two elected members along with Ralph White. State Treasurer Steve Grossman is the Board’s chairman, retiree Pat Deal is an appointed member and SEIU Local 509 Political Director, Chris Condon the fifth member is elected by the other Board members. Nick Favorito is the Board’s Director.

Group: Localities saved $80 million after curbing benefits

Boston Globe
March 20, 2012

A taxpayer group said Monday that Massachusetts cities and towns have saved $80 million on health care since the state enacted a controversial law last year that forced teachers, firefighters, and other municipal employees to give up some of their collective bargaining rights.

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-funded watchdog that advocated for the law, said in its report that the overhaul was likely to save more than the $100 million annually that had initially been projected by the group.

PENSION BOARD APPOINTS LEGAL CHIEF

PENSION BOARD APPOINTS LEGAL CHIEF

MARCH 22, 2012: The Commonwealth’s Public Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC) has voted the appointment of Attorney John Parsons to the post of PERAC General Counsel. This key position had become vacant when Barbara Phillips, longtime General Counsel, retired. Phillips had been with PERAC and its predecessor PERA since 1984.

GIC ANNUAL ENROLLMENT APRIL 9 – MAY 7

15 Statewide Health Fairs Scheduled

MARCH 19, 2012: The Commonwealth’s Group Insurance Commission will hold its annual Open Enrollment period from April 9 through May 7, 2012. During this period, all retirees and employees insured under one of the GIC plans may switch their insurance coverage.

During this time period, the GIC will hold a series of Health Fairs across the state - fifteen in all.

Municipal Health Care Savings Continue to Climb

MARCH 19, 2012: Massachusetts cities and towns have reached nearly $80 million in first-year savings from municipal health care reform and are on pace to exceed by far the initial estimate of $100 million, according to the most recent data compiled by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

PENSION OVERSIGHT BOARD APPOINTS COMPLIANCE OFFICER

PENSION OVERSIGHT BOARD APPOINTS COMPLIANCE OFFICER

MARCH 6, 2012: Tom O’Donnell has been named by the Public Employees Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC) to oversee the new retirement education program and pension fund investment reporting requirements for members of our state’s 105 public retirement boards.

GIC APPROVES 1.43% FY13 PREMIUM INCREASE

No Copay/Deductible Changes

March 2, 2012: Providing good news to those state, teacher and municipal retirees it insures, the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) has approved its lowest insurance premium increase since 1999 – just 1.43% across its eleven different plans. Rate changes are effective for Fiscal Year 2013, which begins July 1, 2012.

Gov. Cuomo’s Pension Proposal

Editorial

Across New York State, years of generous and sometimes overly generous benefits have made government pensions unaffordable. Thanks to contract sweeteners and giveaways by Albany politicians, New York City’s pension costs have risen more than fivefold, to $8 billion this year from $1.3 billion in 2002. Other communities are in similarly tough straits.

LISTON NAMED TO TEACHERS’ RETIREMENT BOARD

LISTON NAMED TO TEACHERS’ RETIREMENT BOARD

Seven-Member Board Now Complete

FEBRUARY 29, 2012: Richard Liston, a retired Everett special education teacher has been named to fill an opening as the seventh member of the Teachers’ Retirement Board, the Commonwealth’s only seven-member Board.

Liston was voted to that seat for a four-year term by the first six members of the Board after interviewing five finalists over the past month. The seat had been previously held by Linda Ruberto, a retired Pittsfield teacher, who declined a new term after 20 years on the Board.

The elderly should share the burden

By Robert J. Samuelson
Washington Post

One hallmark of the Obama administration’s budget policy has been to exempt the elderly from major cuts, even though spending on the elderly — mainly through Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — represents 40 percent or more of the budget. The main reason is political: The elderly (it’s presumed) would vote against politicians who would cut their benefits. But to justify the policy, politicians and others often portray the elderly as financially vulnerable with scant savings.

ASSOCIATION PEC DESIGNEES ATTEND MUNICIPAL HEALTH FORUM

ASSOCIATION PEC DESIGNEES ATTEND MUNICIPAL HEALTH FORUM

Focus On New Municipal Insurance Law

FEBRUARY 14, 2012: Association members were among the over 200 attendees at a recent forum on the new Municipal Health Insurance (MHI) law, that was held at Boston Fire Local 718’s Florian Hall in Dorchester. They gathered together as the retiree designees on the Public Employee Committee (PEC) for their community or school district.

Annual Insurance Hearing Draws Retirees

Annual Insurance Hearing Draws Retirees

FEBRUARY 1, 2012: Over 100 employees and retirees attended today’s annual public hearing of the Commonwealth’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) held in Minihan Hall at the Lindemann Center.

Dolores Mitchell, Executive Director of the GIC, presented an extensive update of all commission activities and an estimated projection of future needs and costs.

Mitchell started by pointing out that the Commonwealth could be under some pressure from the added costs of Federal health care reform.

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation says unfunded retiree health care liability is growing for towns and cities

SPRINGFIELD – This city has $761.6 million in unfunded liabilities for municipal retiree health benefits, which works out to more than $12,000 in unfunded liabilities per single-family home.

Holyoke has $300 million in unfunded liabilities, working out to about $18,000 in unfunded liability per single-family home, or about 59 percent of Holyoke’s median household income, according to a study recently released by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.