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SOCIAL SECURITY COUNTS TOWARD TAX REBATE

FEBRUARY 14, 2008: Retirees, who have at least $3,000 in earned income for 2007 may be eligible for the federal tax rebate, signed into law by President Bush today. For the purpose of the tax rebate, “earned income” includes earnings from employment, including Social Security. In other words, if a retiree has earned at least $3,000 in 2007, from a job or Social Security, then they may be eligible for the rebate scheduled to be paid in May. Also, in order to qualify for a rebate, a 2007 tax return must be filed with the IRS.

TAX REBATES NOW LAW

FEBRUARY 12, 2008: On Monday President Bush signed the Economic Stimulus Package into law, thus approving the highly anticipated tax rebate. While it is clear that Social Security income can now be counted toward earned income, Association officials are now analyzing the new law and will update members as to its key provisions on Wednesday.

FEDERAL TAX REBATES EYED

JANUARY 28, 2008: Association officials are closely monitoring developments in Washington D.C. relative to the so-called tax rebates now being debated on Capital Hill. The tax rebates are a critical part of a larger Economic Stimulus Package endorsed by President George W. Bush and passed by the US House last week. Now before the US Senate, the proposal is under considerable scrutiny as the details are being worked out.

 

HOUSE TO HOLD WEP/GPO HEARING

JANUARY 9, 2008: The US House of Representatives will hold a public hearing on Social Security’s Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) on Wednesday January 16, 2008. Association official will be submitting testimony to the Committee on Social Security, which is conducting the invitation only hearing.

2.3% COLA For 2008

Hull, Hingham Early Birds

JANUARY 2008: Retirement Boards, across the Commonwealth, will once again have the opportunity to vote 3% COLAs for their eligible retirees effective July 2008, rather than a 2.3% increase, an alternative option allowed by law.

LOCAL INSURANCE POWERHOUSE

Blue Cross Long Held As Gold Standard

JANUARY 2008: With pressure on local government to control the rising cost of health care at an all-time high, much attention has been brought to the insurance companies that provide the coverage for tens of thousands of local retirees and employees.

STATE DEFICIT EYED IN FY 2009

DECEMBER 18, 2007: Economists and state tax officials have cautioned legislative leaders and the Patrick Administration that the Commonwealth may be on the verge of a recession, with a budget shortfall almost certain for Fiscal Year 2009. However, while the state may undergo some fiscal belt tightening, state officials have made it clear that an early retirement incentive (ERI) is not being considered.

2007 LEGISLATIVE HEARINGS COMPLETE

December 2, 2007: The Joint Committee on Public Service has completed its formal hearing process for the year. All 18 Association bills have now had a public hearing and are awaiting further action at various stages within the legislative process.

TEACHER ELECTION UNDERWAY

NOVEMBER 9, 2007: TEACHERS’ RETIREMENT BOARD ELECTION ENDORSEMENT:

DOW & MITCHELL ENDORSED

The Association is pleased to announce the endorsements of John "Jay" Dow and Karen Mitchell for election to the Massachusetts Teachers' Retirement Board. This election is now underway, with ballots having now been mailed to all retired and active teachers, who are members of the MA Teachers Retirement System (Boston teachers are members of the City of Boston Retirement System and are not members of the MTRS).