State Board Opens Springfield Office

SEPTEMBER 2006 - State retirees in Western Mass.
will no longer need to trek to Boston if they want
to conduct business with the State Retirement Board.

Through the efforts of State Treasurer Tim Cahill,
the State Board has opened a Springfield Regional
Office, which will be far more convenient for our
members living west of Worcester.

Also, active state employees, who
wish retirement counseling or to file their retirement
papers, will find, in many cases, the regional
office more convenient than coming to Boston. Office
hours are 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Representatives
of the Massachusetts Deferred Compensation “SMART Plan” will
be available at the location.

“A secure and comfortable retirement is something
that our workforce should be able to enjoy,” said
Treasurer Cahill, who serves as Chairman of the State
Retirement Board. “The new Springfield office
will provide convenient and accessible services to
help state employees and retirees throughout Western
Massachusetts plan for a content retirement.”

The office, located at 436 Dwight
St., Room 109, will be headed by Regional Manager
Michael Southerland. The logical first question, “How’s
the parking, Mike?”

“It’s a lot different than Boston,” says
Southerland who was a counselor at the State Board
in Boston for the last six years. “There’s
plenty of street metered parking at 25 cents for
each half hour and a parking garage down the street
for five bucks a day!”

For Southerland, a Springfield native,
the new office is a perfect fit. He’s now
back living in his hometown. His father is the
retired director of the Hampden County Retirement
System.

Assisting Southerland at the regional
office is Retirement Counselor Declan Hobbs of
Longmeadow. Hobbs, a Dublin, Ireland native moved
to this country at age eight. He’s had 25
years of business experience and is well versed
in our retirement law.

Association Western Mass. Vice President Jack Walsh
of Hadley lives 20 minutes up the road from Springfield
and vouched for the ample parking.

“I dropped by the new office and can vouch
for the parking,” said Walsh. “I had
no trouble finding a meter. This office will get
plenty of business from UMass Amherst alone and there
are a large number of retirees in this area. I think
they will find the need for additional staff help.”

Association member Mildred Buckland
of Westfield is a Westfield State College retiree. “I think
having a retirement office in Springfield is a great
idea,” she said. “It seems that all state
services are down in the Boston area and we are sort
of out of the mainstream out here. I wish we had
an office nearby when I retired.”

“The Teachers’ Board has had a regional
office in Springfield for several years, and I know
that Tim (Cahill) had been looking for the right
space at a reasonable price for the State Board,” added
Association President Ralph White. “The City
of Springfield itself has had tough going. Perhaps
this will help its image in a small way. People will
find out how easy it is to drive into the city and
park.”

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