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Announcing the Public Retirees Alliance

Announcing the Public Retirees Alliance

November 15, 2019: Together with the Texas Retired Teachers Association, we have created the Public Retirees Alliance – a national organization with the aim of passing Social Security WEP and GPO reform. We are focused on improving the lives of all public retirees – starting with the passage of H.R.4540. And we’re not sitting back waiting for others to act. Let’s #DoSomething and pass WEP reform!

Keeping an eye on health insurance

Keeping an eye on health insurance

NOVEMBER 8, 2019: This week’s video message focuses on the upcoming retiree health insurance plan design process for Fiscal Year 2020. I realize that it’s only November 8th, but the planning process for the next fiscal year gets underway now. In Massachusetts, the state and local fiscal year begins on July 1.

Mass. Congressional Delegation Supports WEP Reform

Mass. Congressional Delegation Supports WEP Reform

100% Cosponsor H.R. 4540

OCTOBER 31, 2019: Support for federal legislation aimed at reforming the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) continues to rapidly grow. The bill, H.R. 4540, now has 46 official Congressional cosponsors – including all 9 Massachusetts’ members of Congress. In addition, 23 national and state-wide organizations have also endorsed the proposal.

Life Insurance & Vets Bonus Bills Advance

Life Insurance & Vets Bonus Bills Advance

Public Service Committee Endorses Mass Retirees Proposals

OCTOBER 24, 2019: The Joint Committee on Public Service has favorably released two Mass Retirees sponsored bills pertaining to state life insurance benefits, as well as the Veterans Bonus. Both proposals are among the Association’s top legislative priorities.

For the 2019-2020 legislative session, each proposal was filed in both the House and Senate. However, the bills have now been combined into single proposals for each subject matter. 

Reelect Frank Valeri to the State Retirement Board

Reelect Frank Valeri to the State Retirement Board

OCTOBER 16, 2019: An election is now underway for state retirees and active employees to elect one of two representatives to the State Retirement Board. Mass Retirees President Frank Valeri is seeking reelection to a 2nd term on the State Board.

National Support Grows for WEP Reform

National Support Grows for WEP Reform

Teacher Unions & Firefighters Back H.R. 4540 

OCTOBER 9, 2019: Less than two weeks following the filing of new federal legislation aiming to reform the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), a strong showing of national support has quickly enveloped H.R. 4540.

Next Steps With WEP Reform

Next Steps With WEP Reform

Last week, we announced a major step forward in our fight to reform the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). With the filing of H.R. 4540 by Ways and Means Chairman Richie Neal of Springfield, we now have a sound proposal that stands a realistic chance of being passed by this Congress.

NEAL FILES WEP REFORM BILL

NEAL FILES WEP REFORM BILL

H.R. 4540 Offers Relief For Current & Future Retirees

SEPTEMBER 28, 2019: Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal (D-Springfield) has fulfilled his promises to Mass Retirees, filing a new proposal to reform the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and bring immediate relief for the more than 73,000 MA residents impacted by the WEP.

Hearing Held on COLA, Part-Time Work and Option B/C Legislation

Hearing Held on COLA, Part-Time Work and Option B/C Legislation

Public Service Committee Reviewing Proposals

SEPTEMBER 26, 2019: Today, the Joint Committee on Public Service held a public hearing that included five legislative proposals filed by Mass Retirees. All told, the Committee heard testimony on 40 bills during the two-hour hearing.

Subscription Service for Active Public Employees Begins

Subscription Service for Active Public Employees Begins

Information Resource for Retirement-Eligible Employees

SEPTEMBER 18, 2019: Mass Retirees has launched a one-of-a-kind Subscription Service for active public employees nearing retirement age. 

Ratified by Association members at our Annual Meeting earlier this month, the Subscription Service is designed to educate and inform active workers about public retirement, healthcare and Social Security in easy to understand terms.

Valeri Reelected President, Duhamel Appointed CEO

Valeri Reelected President, Duhamel Appointed CEO

Bylaw Changes Aimed at Membership Growth & Increased Grassroots Outreach

A Special Message from Mass Retirees President Frank Valeri

SEPTEMBER 7, 2019: Yesterday, we held our Mass Retirees Annual Meeting at The Lantana in Randolph. The several hundred members in attendance voted to elect our Association’s executive officers to a new two-year term.

WEP Reform Update: No False Starts

WEP Reform Update: No False Starts

Work continues through the dog days of summer to craft a new proposal to reform the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision. The bill, which is being drafted by Congressman Richard Neal, was on track to be released in July. More time is needed to work out the fine details, in order to avoid a false start. While details are still being ironed out, the federal legislation will likely focus on two changes to the WEP law. The first, is aimed at providing relief for those retirees whose Social Security benefits have already been reduced because of WEP. Second, a long-term reform is needed that will treat all public and private future retirees fairly. It is estimated that nearly 100,000 Mass Retirees are now impacted by WEP. This number grows daily. Mass Retirees and Chairman Neal have a strong partnership in working to resolve this issue for all members.

Life Insurance & Health Insurance Focus of Beacon Hill Hearing

Life Insurance & Health Insurance Focus of Beacon Hill Hearing

Affordability, Representation and Transparency Key Issues

JULY 25, 2019: Mass Retirees and union leaders packed a State House hearing today that focused on a legislation impacting health, dental and life insurance benefits for public retirees and active employees. Chaired by Rep. Jerry Parisella (D-Beverly) and Senator Mike Brady (D-Brockton), the Joint Committee on Public Service heard testimony on more than 40 bills, nine of which are sponsored by Mass Retirees.

Legislature Approves FY20 Budget; Includes 3% State & Teacher COLA

Legislature Approves FY20 Budget; Includes 3% State & Teacher COLA

To Be Paid in August and Retroactive To July 1

JULY 23, 2019: State & Teacher retirees are set to receive their 21st consecutive annual COLA. On Monday, the legislature approved the $43.1 billion Fiscal Year 2020 budget, which contains the 3% COLA on a $13,000 base.

State Lawmakers Reach Compromise On $43.1 Billion State Budget

STATEHOUSE, BOSTON, JULY 21, 2019 (STATEHOUSE NEWS SERVICE) – Three weeks after the start of the new fiscal year, Democratic leaders finalized a fiscal 2020 budget agreement over the weekend to end a weeks-long stalemate and authorize $43.1 billion in state government spending over the next year.

Mass Retirees & Unions Meet With GIC

Mass Retirees & Unions Meet With GIC

Focus on Members’ Costs & Future Plan Design

JULY 10, 2019: In what might very well be a first, the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) hosted a near 3-hour meeting with Mass Retirees and the state’s public employee and teacher unions.

Sound, Fury and Prescription Drugs

Despite talk of reform, drug prices keep climbing. Here’s how to change that.

By The NYT Editorial Board

State budget talks again spill into new fiscal year

State budget talks again spill into new fiscal year

By Michael P. Norton, Matt Murphy, Katie Lannan and Chris Lisinski / STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

BOSTON – State lawmakers and Gov. Charlie Baker will head into another new fiscal year Monday without an annual budget in place.

Chairman Neal: Open Letter to Mass Retirees

Chairman Neal: Open Letter to Mass Retirees

New WEP Relief Bill Coming This Summer

JUNE 20, 2019: Mass Retirees is working closely with Mass. Congressman Richard Neal, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, to create a workable proposal to provide relief from the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). The aim of this proposal will be to reform the WEP law to provide relief for current retirees, as well as treat future public retirees fairly.

GIC Open Enrollment Ends Today, May 1st

MAY 1, 2019: The month’s long open enrollment for the state Group Insurance Commission’s (GIC) health and dental insurance plans ends Wednesday, May 1, 2019.

Open enrollment provides an annual opportunity for the 430,000 state and municipal retirees and employees enrolled in the GIC’s insurance plans to make changes to their coverage, including switching insurance carriers. Coverage for FY20 begins on July 1, 2019.

“Opening Day” For Public Service Committee

“Opening Day” For Public Service Committee

Survivor Remarriage Bill Among First Heard 

APRIL 9, 2019: A City of Boston home-rule petition allowing surviving spouses to retain their health insurance coverage upon remarriage was among a dozen bills heard before the Joint Committee on Public Service’s inaugural hearing on Tuesday.

GIC Annual Enrollment Now Underway

GIC Annual Enrollment Now Underway

Benefit Fairs Begin April 10th

APRIL 3, 2019: The state Group Insurance Commission’s annual open enrollment period began today and runs through May 1st. For the 430,000 enrollees insured by the GIC, the open enrollment period allows for changes to be made in choosing insurance providers.

NOT WAITING FOR OTHERS TO ACT

NOT WAITING FOR OTHERS TO ACT

Mass & Texas Lead National Fight To Reform WEP/GPO

MARCH 27, 2019: Working in conjunction with the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA), Mass Retirees has reinitiated an all-out effort to pass legislation to reform the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO).

GIC Announces FY20 Rates

GIC Announces FY20 Rates

1.9% Increase for Popular OME Plan

MARCH 1, 2019: On Thursday the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) delivered good news to the more than 82,000 retirees and surviving spouses insured under its Option Medicare Extension (OME) plan. For Fiscal Year 2020, UniCare OME premiums will increase a meager 1.9% over the current year.

House & Senate Committee Chairs Named

House & Senate Committee Chairs Named

Strong Support for Public Retirees Across Beacon Hill Leadership

FEBRUARY 14, 2019: Valentine’s Day marks the beginning of a new era of legislative leadership on Beacon Hill, with the House and Senate naming committee chairs.

With vacant chairs on both House and Senate Ways and Means Committees, speculation has swirled for months on which two legislators would be tapped to head what are arguably the most important of legislative committee posts.