DECEMBER 10, 2021: As promised, for this week’s video I am joined by Bill Rehrey and Nancy McGovern for a sneak preview of our January 2022 edition of The Voice.
Our January 2022 newsletter leads off with a call to action to improve the annual pension COLA. While our November edition focused on the COLA process for local retirement systems, this month we turn our attention to the State and Teacher Retirement Systems. The legislature approves COLAs and establishes the COLA base for retired State employees and Teachers.
In addition, we are calling on the legislature and Governor Baker to approve special legislation that will allow local retirement boards to grant a 5.9% COLA based on the CPI for FY23. Current law restricts local retirement systems to approving an annual COLA up to 3%. Given the growing pressure of inflation, a 5.9% COLA is not only warranted, but needed!
The second lead story this coming month is a full detailed update on the Social Security WEP and GPO. We walk through the details of the 4 bills now pending before the House and provide a realistic overview of what might take place in the coming months if we are to be successful passing a bill this Congressional session.
Inside the newsletter you will find a Legislative Update focused on our work on Beacon Hill. This includes a companion article highlighting our various retiree healthcare proposals.
Speaking of healthcare and retiree insurance, for January we have published 8 separate healthcare related articles. As you know, retiree health insurance is a major focus of our Association. With the GIC’s procurement set to be released this coming spring, retiree healthcare will be a main focus throughout 2022 and into the first half of 2023.
On page 3, please look for our Tele-Town Hall schedule for the next two months. In January we will host an event focused on the COLA. Then, following the GIC’s February plan design meeting, we will host a Town Hall on retiree health insurance.
In addition to our advocacy work on your behalf, a major portion of our work is designed to keep our members well informed and engaged. Our newsletters, as well as these weekly updates, are designed with that in mind. If you have any thoughts or ideas on topics that you would like to see us report or expand upon, please let us know? The only requirement is that the topic must be specific to retired public employees and your retirement benefits. We can’t engage with unrelated topics or issues.
Next week will be my last update of 2021. My plan is to offer a recap of this year, as well as lay the groundwork for what we see on the horizon in 2022.
With great appreciation,
Chief Executive Officer
Mass Retirees Association