Retirement Systems

Articles about Retirement Boards that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.

Gov. Patrick Files Final Budget Proposal

Includes 3% COLA & Funding Schedule Changes

JANUARY 22, 2014: Within the final budget proposal of his eight-year tenure as governor, Deval Patrick chose to include two provisions of critical long term importance to public retirees and surviving spouses.

As he has consistently done in the past, the governor has recommended a full 3% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for state and teacher retirees who retired before July 1, 2013. Like 2013, the new COLA will be paid on a base of $13,000.

Ralph White Reelected in Landslide

New 3-Year Term On State Retirement Board

DECEMBER 10, 2013: The Association’s Ralph White has been reelected to a new 3-year term on the State Retirement Board. White topped the ticket in a landslide, winning by more than 11,000 votes.

He received 79% of the total votes cast by the members of the State Retirement System. White has served on the Board since 1996.

Judge Approves Detroit Pension Cuts

Situation In Mass. Vastly Different

DECEMBER 4, 2013: A federal bankruptcy judge has granted approval for the City of Detroit to move forward with its bankruptcy protection plan – a plan that will include cuts to the pensions of existing city retirees and future benefits of active employees.

Massachusetts Joins Institutional Carbon Clash

Massachusetts Joins Institutional Carbon Clash

NOVEMBER 21, 2013: An article in today’s DCDB Daily Free E-Newsletter says that Massachusetts Treasurer and Receiver General Steve Grossman, Chairman of the Pension Reserves Investment Management (PRIM) Board, manager of the state’s more than $54 billion Pension Reserve Investment Trust (PRIT), has lodged support for mission-based investing focused on climate change.

MACRS EXECUTIVE BOARD VOTES TO OPPOSE DIVESTITURE OF FOSSIL FUEL IN PENSION FUNDS

MACRS EXECUTIVE BOARD VOTES TO OPPOSE DIVESTITURE OF FOSSIL FUEL IN PENSION FUNDS

SEPTEMBER 13, 2013: Yesterday, the 18-member Executive Board of the Mass. Association of Contributory Retirement Systems (MACRS) unanimously voted to oppose legislation that would require the State’s Pension Fund Board (PRIM Board) to divest all holdings in the Fund, which include fossil fuel such as oil, gas and coal.

HAVERHILL CITY COUNCIL TABLES COLA BASE VOTE

Base Increase Opposed By Mayor Fiorentini

SEPTEMBER 11, 2013: Last night, the Haverhill City Council tabled a request by the Haverhill Retirement Board that would have raised the cost-of-living base for its retirees.

The initiative, voted 3-2 by the Retirement Board, would have increased the base amount, which is currently $12,000, by $1,000 per year for each of the next three years, capping at $15,000 in 2016.

LOCAL SYSTEMS INCREASING PENSIONS FOR CERTAIN SURVIVORS

Boards Adopting Laws Sponsored By Association

SEPTEMBER 2013 VOICE: One of the guiding principles of this Association has always been to improve the pension and insurance benefits for surviving spouses,” states Ralph White. “And, when we are successful in enacting legislation toward that end, it must be adopted locally in order to take effect.

STATE BOARD ELECTION UNDERWAY

White is Candidate

SEPTEMBER 9, 2013: Although no longer President of the Association, Ralph White will remain active in the public retirement arena.

His first chore is to win reelection to the State Board of Retirement for a new three-year term beginning in January. The election is now underway.

FALL LEGISLATIVE SESSION BEGINS

Busy Schedule For Public Service Committee

SEPTEMBER 5, 2013: With the summer recess now in the rearview mirror, the state Legislature has returned to Beacon Hill with an aggressive fall agenda.

On Tuesday, September 10th, the Joint Committee on Public Service will reconvene with what is expected to be a lengthy public hearing in the State House’s Gardner Auditorium. Association officials will be on hand to testify on further increases to the COLA base (S1259 & S1263) and the Option B & C recalculation (H2235).

Pension Fund Reaches $50 Billion Mark

Continues Climb From '08 Disaster

MARCH 2013 VOICE: A strong investment earnings last year, 2012, of 13.82%, has pushed the Commonwealth’s Pension Reserves Investment Trust (PRIT) Fund’s value over the $50 billion mark for the first time since 2007, when its peak value was $53.7 billion.

The recovery since Year 2008, a disasterous market year’s loss of -29.5 billion, which plunged the fund’s value to $37.8 billion has been a steady process with three of the past four years showing double-digit returns bringing the new value to $51.97 billion.