Legislation

Articles about Legislation that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.

GIC DEADLINE EXTENDED

Peabody & Orange Eye January Entry

JUNE 20, 2012: A newly enacted change to insurance law has opened the door for mid-year entry into the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC). Unless otherwise provided by special act, enrollment in the GIC has traditionally begun on July 1.

Under Chapter 118, the FY13 Supplemental Budget signed into law by Governor Patrick on June 19, 2012, municipalities may now also enter the GIC on January 1, if they notify the agency of their intention to do so by July 1 of the previous year.

SENATE BUDGET DEBATE UNDERWAY

Retirees Eye Amendments

MAY 22, 2012: The state Senate is now in the midst of its debate of the Commonwealth’s $32 billion FY13 budget. Debate on the 694 amendments is expected to last from Wednesday through Friday.

While the Senate has included a full 3% state and teachers COLA within its budget and maintained state retiree insurance rates, there is still work that remains to be done. With the support of Senator Ken Donnelly (D-Arlington), our Association has sponsored two budget amendments.

BUDGET DEBATE UNDERWAY IN HOUSE

3% COLA Approved & GIC Rates Maintained

APRIL 25, 2012: This week, debate is underway in the House of Representatives over the Fiscal Year 2013 State Budget. The weeklong debate will consider over 850 amendments to the $32 billion budget proposal.

PROGRESS ON LEGISLATIVE FRONT DESPITE LAGGING ECONOMY

Formal Session Ends July 30

MARCH 2012 VOICE: As the first half of the 2011-2012 Massachusetts legislative session drew to a close last November, members witnessed several of our Association’s legislative initiatives (bills) become law through the passage of Chapter 176 (Pension Reform III).

New Studies Target Retirees

Association Appointed To Commissions

JANUARY 2012: Anyone hoping that the recently passed “Pension Reform III” (Chapter 176) would mark the end, at least for the foreseeable future, of further changes in pension and health insurance benefits will be sorely disappointed. Contained within the final pages of the new law is the establishment of four separate studies or commissions – all aimed at making greater changes to pension and health insurance benefits.

Pension Reform 3 Now Law

JANUARY 2012 VOICE: Chapter 176, landmark Pension Reform, signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick on November 18, brings to a close the longtime concept of a public pension plan that provides full pensions for long-term employees, but allows a reduced pension for anyone who must retire before age 60.

State & Teacher COLA Base Increased

JANUARY 2012 VOICE: As clearly evident from the lead story, our Association is disappointed at the outcome of the latest installment of Pension Reform, which, we believe, saddles future employees with the debt created by past generations of government officials who failed to properly fund the government’s share of pension obligations. In addition to seeking fair and equitable treatment for future government workers, we also strongly advocated our position that existing benefit inequalities be addressed through Pension Reform III.

Public Service After Retirement

Earnings Cap Raised

JANUARY 2012 VOICE: Of interest to some members in the new Pension Reform law (Chapter 176), Senate leaders agreed to a floor amendment, sponsored by the Mass. Police Association and backed by our Association, that increases the part-time earnings limits for superannuation retirees who return to public service, on part-time basis, within Massachusetts government. Senator Michael Rodriques (D-Westport) carried the amendment on the Senate floor, which was unanimously accepted.

New Disability Earnings Reporting Law

JANUARY 2012 VOICE: Contained within the myriad of issues addressed by the new Pension Reform Law (Chapter 176, Acts of 2011) is a section that eases the annual reporting requirements of long-term disability retirees, in connection with earned income, if any, during a calendar year.

PENSION REFORM III NOW LAW

Chapter 176 Marks Sweeping Change

NOVEMBER 21, 2011:  As expected, late last Friday, November 18, Governor Deval Patrick signed Pension Reform III into law as Chapter 176, Acts of 2011.

The measure, which had been enacted in the House and Senate three days earlier, creates a new retirement plan for new employees of our 105 retirement systems, hired on or after next April 2nd.