January 2005

Boards Prepare For COLA Vote

- Once again, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was less than 3%. The CPI
for the year ending with the third quarter of 2004 increased by 2.7%
over the third quarter of 2003. This is the figure that will be used
for increases in the January Social Security and Federal retirement

COLA Base Study Underway

- Initial "Summit Meeting" Held - While the $12,000 COLA base will remain in effect for this coming
July's COLA, the second step toward a higher future base was taken on
October 28.

Wellesley Loses Wakelin

- Pioneered Pension Reserve Fund - R. Arnold Wakelin, Jr., the ex officio member of the Wellesley
Retirement Board, died suddenly of a heart attack on November 8 at age

Floridians Continue To Struggle

- Hurricane Damage Widespread - Large numbers of our members in Florida continue to struggle with the
ravages of four hurricanes - Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne - which
devastated widespread areas of that state this past August and

Moving Forward On Social Security Reform

- Questions Posed As GOP Majority Increases - No sooner had the 2004 Election ended than did the phones in the
Association's Beacon Hill office begin to ring. Instead of calling to
inquire about the election itself, members wanted to know what the
reelection of President George W. Bush, combined with a Republican
dominated Congress, would mean for Social Security reform.

Unicare Addresses Privacy Issue

- Association Legislation Goes Further - Members, who are insured through the state's Group Insurance
Commission and enrolled in one of the various insurance plans
administered by UniCare, may have recently noticed that their Social
Security number is no longer being used on insurance documents.

Insurance Victory For Quincy Retirees

- Two-Year Medicare Reimbursement - Quincy retirees have won an exceptional insurance benefit. All
eligible retirees, who are insured under one of the city's Medicare
carve-out plans, such as the Harvard Pilgrim PPO, received a 75%
reimbursement of their Medicare Part B premiums this past October. An
individual entitled to a full 12-month reimbursement, received a check
for $563.85. The check was for Fiscal 04 (7/01/03 to 6/30/04).

Update: Medicare Subsidy To State And Local Governments For Rx Drug Coverage

- Both public and private employers have been pushing hard for the
federal government to finalize its rules on how it will pay them a
subsidy for the cost of providing prescription drug coverage to their
retirees. Officials with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid
Services, the federal agency responsible for the subsidy program, have
announced that they are proceeding "as quickly as possible" to meet the

Romney Rebuked In State Elections

- Voters Reject Negative Campaign - Republicans may have been celebrating their party's national
victories on November 2, but here in Massachusetts there was far less
rejoicing for the GOP. Unlike the US Senate and House, where the
Republicans gained greater control, the overwhelmingly Democratic
General Court increased its lock on state legislative seats.

Association Ready For New Session

- Improved Economy Provides Optimism - With the 2005-2006 Massachusetts legislative session underway in
January, the Association's legislative team is now geared up for a
successful term.