Latest News

Meet Our New Legislative Team

Meet Our New Legislative Team

February 13, 2020: The start of a new decade marks the beginning of a new era for the Association’s legislative team.

Thomas Bonarrigo and Nancy McGovern – each a well-known and widely respected veterans of Beacon Hill – now lead our lobbying efforts. 

As Legislative Chairman, Bonarrigo is a key member of our Executive Board and will work part-time in the Association’s Beacon Hill office. He will oversee our legislative program and our advocacy efforts at the State House.  

Congressional Support for WEP Reform Continues to Grow

Congressional Support for WEP Reform Continues to Grow

H.R.4540 Reaches 124 Cosponsors

February 11, 2020: Work to make reform of the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) a true nationwide issue is paying off. At this time,124 members of Congress now officially cosponsor H.R.4540.

GIC Makes it Official: No OPC Increases For FY21

GIC Makes it Official: No OPC Increases For FY21

Premium Rate Vote Coming February 27th

FEBRUARY 6, 2020: It’s official. There will be no increases in copayments or deductibles in FY21 under the health insurance plans sponsored by the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC).

Today’s vote by the 17-member Commission followed recommendations made by GIC staff in January. This means that prescription drug and office visit copayments, as well as annual deductibles will not increase during the next fiscal year beginning July 1.

Retirees Legislative Proposals On The Move

Retirees Legislative Proposals On The Move

Public Service Committee Favorably Releases 8 Bills

FEBRUARY 6, 2020: Earlier this week, the Joint Committee on Public Service favorably released 8 bills sponsored by our Association. These proposals run the gambit of retiree benefits, from pensions, to health insurance, and survivor benefits. 

GIC Launches Planning Process for FY21

GIC Launches Planning Process for FY21

Listening Tours Will Proceed Decision Making 

DECEMBER 19, 2019: Today, the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) formally kicked-off the planning and decision making process for Fiscal Year 2021, which begins July 1, 2020.

Herman Departs GIC

Herman Departs GIC

Forged Working Relationship With Mass Retirees

DECEMBER 11, 2019: Just three and a half years into her tenure as executive director of the state’s Group Insurance Commission, Roberta Herman announced her departure from the key state agency on Friday.

Social Security has tilted to favor higher earners who delay claiming benefits, report says

Social Security has tilted to favor higher earners who delay claiming benefits, report says

By Robert Weisman, Boston Globe Staff

The nation’s Social Security program was designed with special concern for the least fortunate Americans, to keep them from sinking into poverty when they became too old to work.

But recent demographic changes have tilted the system against lower earners who claim Social Security benefits early, even as they’ve rewarded higher earners who claim benefits later, according to a Boston College report.

Special Offer: Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol

Special Offer: Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol

Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol
Emerson Colonial Theatre
Boston
December 3-29, 2019

Mass Retirees, Friends and Family Save up to $15 per ticket!

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