April marks the start of our annual Retired Public Employees Political Action Committee (PAC) drive. While participation in the PAC is voluntary, we hope that you will consider contributing.

You can make a secure donation to the PAC by clicking here. When donating online, you will need to enter your membership ID # which is found on your Mass Retirees membership card..

If you would prefer to donate by check, members will receive a PAC mailing that will contain a donation slip and return envelope later this month.

If you have not contributed in the past or have questions regarding the purpose of the PAC, please allow me to provide a brief overview.

To start, the Retired Public Employees Political Action Committee is the political arm of the Mass Retirees Association. The primary purpose is to support the Association’s political goals here in Massachusetts.

To be clear, it is a Massachusetts state PAC. The funds can only be used to support the Association’s activities and goals at the state and local levels of government here in the Commonwealth. This means that we cannot make political contributions to federal candidates such as anyone running for president or Congress. In fact, we do not operate a federal PAC at all.

In addition to making contributions to those state and local candidates who actively support public retirees and the issues of direct importance to our Association (maximum PAC donation to a candidate is $500 a calendar year), the funds raised through the PAC drive also help pay for issues advocacy and grassroots/membership outreach.

Examples of these activities include our Area Meetings, Tele-Town Hall meetings, and public awareness campaigns designed to educate on issues such as the COLA, retiree healthcare, and the fact that Massachusetts is a non-Social Security state. For instance, in the past we have used digital advertising to help educate and inform audiences on the issues of direct importance to our members.

Throughout the remainder of 2024 and into 2025 we are focused on two primary policy goals here in Massachusetts: Improving the COLA base, while creating a new “senior” COLA for long-term retirees; and defending your right to ongoing access to high quality and affordable healthcare plans.

We are now on the verge of receiving legislative approval to establish the COLA Commission (where we will have an official seat at the table), which will likely be underway shortly after Labor Day in September. We know that there are some outside business and fiscal watchdog groups that will likely oppose any attempt to increase COLA benefits. These groups are often well funded and well organized. That is why it is important to have a strong PAC helping to back the work and recommendations of the Commission.

The same applies when it comes to public retiree healthcare benefits. At the same time healthcare costs are rising and overall affordability is being called into question, there is a new movement underway with the goal of reducing insurance costs for taxpayers. We know from experience that this normally means cost shifting, along with a reduction in benefits – two things we must fight to prevent.

These are two real examples of why we have a PAC and how we utilize it as an important resource. A well-funded PAC is critical to our operations on your behalf.

You may notice that under my name below I now have the added title of “PAC Treasurer”. In addition to being the Association’s chief executive officer, I assumed this new role following the passing of our founder Ralph White in February. Following his retirement as Association president in 2013, Ralph continued as treasurer of the PAC. He knew the importance of politics in the work we do on behalf of our members, which is why Ralph remained focused on maintaining a strong political action committee.

To be clear, like our Association, the PAC is non-partisan. We work with and support those who support public retirees – regardless of political party or ideological beliefs on issues not of direct relevance to public retirement policy. As a so-called “blue state”, Massachusetts has more Democrats elected to public office than Republicans. But we work closely with members of both parties, so long as they have an interest and public record of supporting public retirees on issues like the COLA and retiree healthcare.

I do hope you will consider contributing to our PAC. Over the past two years, the average contribution has been $25. Many members choose to contribute more, some less – depending on what each can afford to give.

Thank you again for being a member of Mass Retirees. In addition to this email, please keep your eyes open for the PAC mailing later this month.
With gratitude,


Shawn Duhamel

Chief Executive Officer

Mass Retirees Association

PAC Treasurer

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