Issues

PERAC Forum Spotlights WEP/GPO Fight

PERAC Forum Spotlights WEP/GPO Fight

Mass Retirees Addresses 300 Retirement Officials 

SEPTEMBER 14, 2018: An important aspect of Mass Retirees’ advocacy efforts to reform the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) laws is to educate the public, as well as policy makers, as to the unfairness and negative impact of the two federal laws. 

50 Years as the Voice of the Retired Public Employee

Founded in the fall of 1968, Mass Retirees has served as the lead advocates for all Massachusetts retired public employees for the past 50 years. 

From the Association’s humble beginnings, our mission has been to represent the interests of all public retirees at the state, local and federal levels of government. Our focus is public pension, Social Security, Medicare and retiree healthcare policy, for which Mass Retirees has become widely recognized for our expertise.

GIC Continues to Examine Health Plan Affordability

Review Comes at Request of Mass Retirees 

AUGUST 7, 2018: Following several years of increased healthcare costs paid by retirees in their insurance through the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC), Mass Retirees called upon the Commission to consider affordability prior to any further increases in cost. 

Legislature Restores Retiree Work Limit To 1,200 Hours

Legislature Restores Retiree Work Limit To 1,200 Hours

Rejects Governor’s Counter Proposal

 AUGUST 1, 2018: Late last night, the Legislature reapproved Mass Retirees proposal increasing the limit on public sector post retirement employment to 1,200 hours annually.

The legislation, which is now known as H4821, increases the hourly limit part time work from the current limit of 960 hours to 1,200 per year. H4821 is now before Governor Charlie Baker, who has 10 days in which to either approve or veto the bill.

Treasurer Goldberg Delivers July COLA

Treasurer Goldberg Delivers July COLA

3% For State & Teacher Retirees

Thanks to State Treasurer Deb Goldberg, as well as the State Employees and Teachers Retirement Boards, the July pension checks of over 127,000 State and Teacher retirees will contain the 3% COLA.

Annual COLA approval for both State and Teacher retirees is handled through the State Budget. Despite being approved in all three versions of the FY19 State Budget (Governor, House, and Senate), this year’s 3% COLA payment was stuck in limbo as budget negotiations extended into mid-July.

Baker Rejects Part-Time Work Limit Increase

Baker Rejects Part-Time Work Limit Increase

Mass Retirees Shocked By Governor’s Counter Proposal

JULY 26, 2018: Governor Charlie Baker has rejected a Mass Retirees proposal that would increase the hourly limit for retirees returning to part-time public sector work. Our proposal, which was also backed by the Mass Police and Professional Fire Fighters, was passed within the FY19 State budget as outside section 29.

Legislature Approves Increase in Retiree Part-Time Work

Legislature Approves Increase in Retiree Part-Time Work

Now Awaiting Governor’s Approval

JULY 19, 2018: The recently passed State Budget includes a section increasing the hourly restriction on part-time work to 1,200 hours a year. This measure applies to public retirees who return to part-time work with either the state or local government within Massachusetts.

Mass Retirees partnered with the Mass Police Association to spearhead the statutory change, which effectively amounts to 23 hours a week. Current law limits public retirees to just 960 hours annually, or 18.5 hours a week.

State Budget Deal Reached

State Budget Deal Reached

3% State & Teacher COLA Retroactive to July 1

JULY 18, 2018: House and Senate budget negotiators have reached agreement finalizing the $41.88 billion FY19 State Budget. Both branches of the legislature approved the budget today. Governor Charlie Baker now has 10 days in which to review the document, before taking executive action. 

In passing the budget, the legislature has approved a full 3% COLA on a $13,000 base for State and Teacher retirees, who retired prior to July 1, 2017.  

WEP Reform Work Continues

WEP Reform Work Continues

Neal & Brady Push Bipartisan Effort

When gauging whether or not legislation may have a chance of advancing through Congress or the State Legislature, a telltale sign is the level of staff activity happening behind the scenes.

This spring brought a distinct uptick in activity surrounding the proposal to reform the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) from a widespread network of organizations advocating for reform. Most importantly, the work was not limited to WEP reform advocates.