State Teachers Disability Vets

SEPTEMBER 2006 - Accidental disability
retirees of the State and Teachers’ Retirement Systems,
who are veterans, will now be entitled to the same
veterans’ stipend that superannuation retirees
receive.

The stipend, which is $15.00 for each year of creditable
public service up to a maximum of $300.00 yearly,
will be paid retroactively to the date of retirement
and annually as a part of their pensions from this
point on.

For some members who have been retired for many
years, the retroactive payment will amount to several
thousand dollars, a well-deserved windfall for these
veterans. The retroactive payment, as well as future
stipends of up to $300.00 yearly, will be considered
taxable income under the IRS code.

The State and Teachers’ Retirement
Boards are now in the process of notifying accidental
disability retirees of this benefit. Veterans will
be asked to send a copy of their DD214 or separation
papers to their board.

The law, Chapter 161, allowing this benefit, was
enacted by the House and Senate on July 10 and signed
into law by Governor Romney on July 19. It officially
takes effect 90 days from that date.

Chapter 161 is actually an amendment
to Chapter 157 of the Acts of ’05, which was passed last
year as an option for our 104 local retirement systems.
Due to a snafu, the state and teachers’ systems
were not included in the law.

“The House and Senate leadership were very
cooperative in making this correction (Chapter 161)” said
Association Legislative Chairman Bill Hill. “There
was some uncertainty over the total cost of the retroactive
payments, but once we were able to produce some solid
numbers, Bobby DeLeo (Rep. Chairman House Ways and
Means) and Therese Murray (Sen. Chair Senate Ways
and Means) shepherded the legislation to their floors
for a vote.”

Local Boards Active

At this time, 58 of our local retirement
boards and their respective governing bodies have
voted to accept last year’s Chapter 157, which allows
them to pay the retroactive accidental disability
veterans’ stipend. Acceptance of Chapter 157
is open-ended and can be voted at a future date.

Also, three boards: Attleboro, Easthampton and West
Springfield, were denied retroactive approval by
their governing bodies. Current retirees will receive
the stipend going forward.

Seven other retirement boards: Hull,
Malden, Methuen, Northbridge, Reading, Winthrop
and Worcester, voted for a stipend for current
retirees going forward, but not for a retroactive
payment. Framingham’s
Retirement Board voted for the retroactive and future
stipends, but were denied by Town Meeting on both.
The Board will seek another vote at a future Town
Meeting.

The following Boards and their governing
bodies have voted for the accidental disability
vets’ stipend,
both retroactively and going forward.

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