July 2006

Somerset Retirees Avoid Major Health Insurance Increase

JULY 06 - Selectmen Bend Under Organized Resistance - Swift action by retirees of the Town of Somerset has prevented a major increase in their health insurance premiums.

North Carolina Member Steps Aside

July 06 - Push For Tax Break Continues - Over the years, members have read reports about efforts to get Mass pensions exempt from income tax in North Carolina. The name that has become synonymous with this endeavor is Association member Charlie Peckham.

GIC Nears Vote On Life

JULY 06 - At press time, the state Group Insurance Commission (GIC) is scheduled, in June, to vote  whether  to increase the $5,000 basic life insurance to $10,000 for all state retirees and employees or follow the earlier advice of Romney  officials and only raise the benefit for active employees.

Springfield Inches Closer To Joining GIC

JULY 06 - With state and local officials struggling to find ways to erase Springfield’s remaining $8 million deficit, a plan is moving forward that would bring all city retirees and employees under the state-run Group Insurance Commission (GIC).

Worcester Officials Reject Coalition Bargaining

JULY 06 - Major Changes To Non-Medicare Plans - Last November, we contacted our members in Worcester, urging them to contact their local officials about impending changes in the city’s non-Medicare plans. City Manager Michael O’Brien proposed that the retiree contribution rates and co-payments for non-Medicare plans, be increased this January 1 (see January’06 Voice).

A Look At Pensions In A County Retirement System

JULY 2006 - In recent articles, we have been looking at the salaries and pensions of various communities and the correlation between salaries and pensions.

McGoldrick Wins New Term On State Retirement Board

JULY 2006 - Theresa McGoldrick has been elected to a full three-year term on the State Board of Retirement. McGoldrick had earlier been elected to complete the unexpired term of Bob Cawley who died on April 30, 2004.

Former State Retirement Board Member Honored

July 06 - Credit Union Boardroom Named in His Honor - Former State Retirement Board member Bob Cawley was posthumously honored by the State Employees Credit Union at the recent opening of the Credit Union’s new offices.

May Rains Costly To Many

July 06 - Reached Flood Level - Although it wasn’t of the magnitude of the flood which devastated New Orleans last year, nor the recent series of Florida hurricanes which impacted large numbers of our members, mother nature paid a visit to Northeastern Massachusetts this May, which raised havoc with a good chunk of our state’s population.

Stoneham Selectman's Attempt To Wipe Out Retirement Board Defeated At Town Meeting

JULY 06 - Selectmen Suffer Second Defeat, Salaries Wiped Out - Angered voters at Stoneham’s May Town Meeting roundly rejected an article that would have turned the Stoneham Retirement Board and its duties over to the State Retirement Board. The Town Meeting article was sponsored by the five-member Stoneham Board of Selectmen, and given a favorable recommendation by the Finance Advisory Committee.