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What about the WEP?

What about the WEP?

October 8, 2021

By, Shawn Duhamel

On Wednesday we went to press with the November edition of the Voice, which should begin to arrive in member’s mailboxes by end of the week of October 18th. In this edition we focus heavily on the pension cost-of-living -adjustment, making a strong case as to why our retirees deserve improved COLA benefits and how the retirement systems can fund the increase. The data and facts are clearly spelled out to help pass these improvements for the coming FY23.

Work progresses on Beacon Hill

Work progresses on Beacon Hill

October 1, 2021 Weekly Update: By Chief Executive Officer Shawn Duhamel

Before my brief hiatus in August, I reported to you that we anticipated a very busy fall. I’m happy to say that not only were we correct, but that things have been even busier than we would have thought. 

Benefit Check Delays Continue To Frustrate New Retirees

Benefit Check Delays Continue To Frustrate New Retirees

September 28, 2021: The "number-one problem" that Mass Retirees President Frank Valeri hears from his members is that it takes too long for newly retired public employees to collect their first monthly benefit check. Warning that the sizable gaps between a retirement date and a payment date put undue financial strain on workers at the end of their careers, Valeri urged lawmakers Tuesday to adopt reforms that guarantee delivery of at least partial checks by the due date. "These are the things that bother me," Valeri told the Public Service Committee.

Baker Mandates Vaccination for Executive Branch State Workers

Baker Mandates Vaccination for Executive Branch State Workers

House, Senate Discussing Vaccine Requirements for Their Employees

Katie Lannan, State House News Service

AUG. 19, 2021: About 42,000 state employees will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have secured a medical or religious exemption by Oct. 17, or face the risk of consequences including losing their jobs, under an executive order Gov. Charlie Baker signed Thursday.

Weekly Update: Latest Retirement News

Weekly Update: Latest Retirement News

By Shawn Duhamel, Chief Executive Officer

State Pension Fund Sets New Investment Return Record

State Pension Fund Sets New Investment Return Record

FY '21 Gains Neared 30 Percent, Pushed Fund to $95.7 Bil

Colin A. Young, State House News Service

AUG. 3, 2021.....Fiscal year 2021 was a record year for the Massachusetts state pension fund, which closed the one-year period ending June 30 with the highest return in its history and invested assets that swelled to a record $95.7 billion.

Bill Gives Veterans More Runway To Buy Pension Credits

Bill Gives Veterans More Runway To Buy Pension Credits

Katie Lannan, State House News Service

JULY 28, 2021.....A pair of harbormasters and Coast Guard veterans on Wednesday asked lawmakers to approve a bill they said would make things easier on veterans adjusting to civilian life and new government careers.

Breaking News: Gov Rejects Part-Time Work Increase

Breaking News: Gov Rejects Part-Time Work Increase

Sends Back Amended Budget Section 

JULY 19, 2021: Governor Charlie Baker signed the $47.6 billion Fiscal Year 2022 budget on Friday, July 16th. While no changes were made to the State and Teacher retirees COLA or the Group Insurance Commission line items, he did return certain items to the legislature with amended language. 

A special town hall meeting Friday, 6/25

A special town hall meeting Friday, 6/25

June 18, 2021 - Weekly News Update: A big benefit of holding Tele-Town Hall meetings is that they enhance our ability to bring important guest speakers to our members on a regular basis. 

Work Waiver Extension Update – Efforts Still Underway:

Work Waiver Extension Update – Efforts Still Underway:

June 16, 2021- Late last evening, the House and Senate passed a bill that would extend several COVID-19 policy measures that expired when the Governor’s state of emergency was lifted on June 15th. The House passed their version mid-morning and in an unusual move the two versions were sent to conference committee and hammered out the same day. The Senate version included language that would extend the Post Retirement Work Waiver until December 15th, 2021.

Senate Passes Post-Retirement Work Waiver Extension

Senate Passes Post-Retirement Work Waiver Extension

June 10, 2021-Thursday the Senate passed the Post-Retirement Work Waiver Extension amendment as part of legislation that addressed policies related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The current waiver was set to expire when the Governor’s state of emergency order expired on June 15th

Extension of Post-Retirement Work Waiver Before Senate

Mass Retirees Seeks Extension Through Year-End 

June 9, 2021 – On Thursday the state Senate is poised to debate legislation aimed at addressing various public policies related to the COVID-19 pandemic that are set to expire next week when Governor Baker’s Public Health Emergency Order ends on June 15th. Of direct concern to our Association is the expiration of the post retirement work waiver that has been in place since March 2020.

National Support for WEP Reform Grows

The following state and national public retiree associations, public employee unions and retirement advocacy organizations have each publicly endorsed H.R. 2337, Congressman Richard Neal's Social Security WEP reform proposal.

Endorsements of the Public Servants Protection & Fairness Act of 2021 (HR 2337)

National groups:

Update: Post-Retirement Work Hours Budget Language and Special Waiver Extension in The Works

Update: Post-Retirement Work Hours Budget Language and Special Waiver Extension in The Works

June 2, 2021 - Last Thursday the State Senate completed their FY22 budget debate and soon the conference committee will begin their work to hammer out a final document. As reported prior, the House voted unanimously to support the Mass Retirees amendment, filed by Representative Mark Cusack, that would increase the post retirement work hours from 960 hours to 1200 hours. While Senator Mike Brady did file the same amendment on the Senate side the language was not included.

Pension Fund Hits All-Time High, Beating 2020 Return Targets

Pension Fund Hits All-Time High, Beating 2020 Return Targets

MAY 26, 2021: The Massachusetts state pension fund hit another all-time high when the most recent quarter ended March 31, capping a one-year period that saw a return of 30 percent and an investment gain of $21 billion with $90.1 billion in assets now under management.

Work Continues on Post Retirement Budget Amendment and State of Emergency Special Waiver

Work Continues on Post Retirement Budget Amendment and State of Emergency Special Waiver

MAY 20, 2021: The State Senate will begin their budget process next week. The Association worked with Senator Michael Brady (D-Brockton), who cochairs the Public Service Committee, to file an amendment (Floor Amendment No. 94) that would increase the post retirement work hours from 960 to 1200. The amendment mirrors that which was included in the House budget last month. The language would increase the weekly average from 18.5 hours to 23 hours, bringing more in line with traditional part time work. The amendment does not change the earnings restriction.

MassPRIM embraces diverse FUTURE

MassPRIM embraces diverse FUTURE

Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, Boston, unveiled an initiative to substantially increase its allocation to diverse and emerging managers.

The goal of the FUTURE initiative, which was presented to MassPRIM's investment committee meeting Tuesday , is to bring the pension plan's exposure to emerging and diverse managers to at least 20%.

Support for Social Security WEP Reform Grows

Support for Social Security WEP Reform Grows

Active Employees Join with Retirees in National Campaign

APRIL 29, 2021: Our all-out drive to pass a reform of the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) is showing early signs of success, as a growing number of state and national organizations are publicly backing the passage of H.R. 2337.

House Unanimously Approves Increase in Post-Retirement Work

House Unanimously Approves Increase in Post-Retirement Work

Budget Section Boosts Hours to 1,200 Annually

April 28, 2021: Today, the Massachusetts House of Representatives approved a Mass Retirees-backed amendment to the FY22 State Budget that would increase the hours for post-retirement public sector work by 240 hours annually.

FY22 COLA marks 23 years of increases

FY22 COLA marks 23 years of increases

APRIL 23, 2021 WEEKLY UPDATE: Before I jump into the news of the week, let me first remind you of our upcoming Tele-Town Hall event taking place next Friday, April 30th, at 1:00 PM EST. The topic will be the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC), with guest speaker Executive Director John Parsons. PERAC is the state agency that oversees and regulates our public retirement systems. It plays a critical role in pension policy.

Another year, another step toward ditching the WEP?

Another year, another step toward ditching the WEP?

By Nicole Ogrysko @nogryskoWFED

April 5, 2021 

Occasionally, I’ll get an email or a question from a federal retiree about the Windfall Elimination Provision.

The WEP is so complex, but the questions surrounding it are usually the same. What’s the status of legislation to ditch it, or at least bring some relief to the 3% of Social Security beneficiaries who have to deal with it?

WEP Reform Bill Reintroduced

WEP Reform Bill Reintroduced

APRIL 2, 2021: Congressman Richard Neal has reintroduced his Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) reform proposal for 2021-22 Congressional Session with the support of the entire Massachusetts Congressional delegation.

GIC Insurance Rates Announced

GIC Insurance Rates Announced

MARCH 4, 2021: Group Insurance Commission Announces Fiscal Year 2022 Plan Rates: The Group Insurance Commission held their monthly meeting to set the premium rates for FY22 ahead of the open enrollment process.  As we were anticipating from previous meetings the Commission voted on a 5.2% average increase across all plans, non-Medicare and Medicare plans. Overall, the average increase for the six Medicare plans is 2.3%.  The most popular plan, the UniCare OME plan, has an increase, 2.2%, which equates to a total $8.94 increase for FY22.

New Leadership on Beacon Hill

New Leadership on Beacon Hill

Friday, February 19, 2021: Today marks the completion of the bill filing process for the 2021-22 Legislative Session here in Massachusetts. A complete list of our Association’s legislative proposals, as well as the lead legislative sponsors of our bills, is contained within our March newsletter. You should receive your copy of The Voice this week.

One Million More Eligible for Vaccine on Thursday

One Million More Eligible for Vaccine on Thursday

Baker: High-Volume Sites Will Speed Process

Katie Lannan -  State House News Service

February 17, 2021: 

Massachusetts will roughly double the population eligible for COVID-19 vaccines on Thursday, when people over age 65, the residents and staff of affordable and low-income housing for seniors, and people with two or more health conditions that put them at higher risk will be newly able to make appointments.