Latest News

Boston Retirement Board Election Underway

Retirees Support McLaughlin & O’Reilly

AUGUST 29, 2014: An election is now underway for the two elected positions on the City of Boston’s Retirement Board. Our Association is proud to support the reelection of Boston teacher Michael McLaughlin, along with the election of Boston fire fighter Michael O’Reilly.

Leominster Retirement Board hit over pension-hike denial

By Jack Minch

LEOMINSTER -- A statewide association representing retired municipal employees is criticizing the city's Retirement Board for voting in July not to give retirees a cost-of-living pay increase in their pensions for the fifth straight year.

Annual Meeting Friday, September 5th

Annual Meeting Friday, September 5th

This is a quick reminder of our upcoming ANNUAL MEETING:

DATE:    SEPTEMBER 5, 2014
TIME:    11:00 A.M.
SITE:     LANTANA, RANDOLPH

Special Plymouth Area Meeting Tuesday, August 19th

On Tuesday, August 19th at 11:00am we will be hosting a complimentary continental brunch at the Radisson Hotel Plymouth Harbor, Located at 180 Water Street, Plymouth.

Frank Valeri, our Association’s new President will chair the event. Frank has greatly energized our Association since assuming office and is looking forward to sharing his innovative goals with you as a member.

U.S. Public Pensions Show Biggest Investment Gain in Three Years

U.S. state and local-government pension investments gained the most in three years as stocks soared, according to a report to be released today by Wilshire Associates Inc.

Disability Earnings Bill Clears Senate

Option B & C Recalculation Also Before House

August 1, 2014: An Association proposal that would increase the allowable earnings limit of all disability retirees cleared the Massachusetts Senate yesterday, on the final day of formal legislative action for the 2013-2014 session.

2014 COLA Approved For July Checks

3% For Most Retirees & Survivors

JULY 18, 2014: With the approval of a 3% COLA for state and teacher retirees contained in the FY15 budget signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick on July 11, members can be assured of receiving a new COLA payment in their July pension check. The state has maintained the COLA base at $13,000, thus setting the maximum annual COLA at $390. Eligible retirees for the 2014 COLA are those having retired prior to July 1, 2013.

Members: Share Your Email Address With Us

July 15, 2014: With a growing number of members now using the internet, the Association is expanding our online services. In addition to our website (www.massretirees.com), we are now emailing electronic updates and breaking news alerts to those members using email. We also place weekly updates and other unique features on our website, that are in addition to our award winning newsletter and toll-free hotline. And for those members seeking electronic payment options, we offer dues renewal through our website.

Retirees Endorse Kerrigan in lieutenant governor's race

The Retired, State, County and Municipal Employees Association of Massachusetts announced its unanimous endorsement of Steve Kerrigan for lieutenant governor, noting that the former longtime aide to Sen. Ted Kennedy is the right person to help lead Massachusetts forward.

The endorsement comes on the heels of Kerrigan’s victory at the Massachusetts Democratic State Convention in June. The former Lancaster selectman won the most support among the four candidates for lieutenant governor.

Budget Accord Reached

Healthcare Contribution Moratorium Approved

JUNE 30, 2014: House and Senate budget negotiators reached an agreement on the Commonwealth’s $36.4 billion fiscal 2015 budget over the weekend. The measure will be approved by both the House and Senate, and then sent to Governor Patrick later today.

Bank Fee Waiver Generates Huge Member Response

Applies Only To State Chartered Banks

JUNE 20, 2014: “In our July 2014 issue of the Voice, we included an article reporting on the Association’s successful enactment in 1984 of a law that prohibited a bank from imposing any fee or assessment on a checking or savings account of a person 65 or over,” according to Publisher Nancy Delaney. “We termed it the "Bank Fee Waiver Law".

Retiree Dental Enrollment Climbs

GIC Plan Adds 2,300 For FY15

JUNE 13, 2014: At its monthly meeting held today, the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) announced that enrollment in the retiree-pay-all dental program increased by some 2,300 retirees for Fiscal Year 2015, which begins July 1.

Now entering its 11th year of existence, the retiree dental program is not only a great success story for the GIC, but also for our Association. The program was created at the behest of our Association in 2003 and has grown to nearly 27,000 enrollees.

Budget Conference Underway

Insurance Moratorium Pending

JUNE 6, 2014: Following the passage of the Fiscal Year 2015 budget in both the House and Senate, legislative conferees are now negotiating a final unified state budget that will likely receive final approval in late June or early July.

Senate Budget Debate Begins Wednesday

Insurance Moratorium Pending

MAY 20, 2014: State Senators will begin debate on the FY15 budget beginning Wednesday morning. The debate, which is expected to last at least three days, will determine the Senate’s version of the state budget for the coming year.

Of utmost importance to our Association is amendment #89, filed by Senator Ken Donnelly (D-Arlington). Senators McGee, Lewis, Moore, Keenan and DiDomenico have signed onto the amendment as cosponsors.

Pension Deal Edges Detroit a Step Closer to Recovery

New York Times
April 16, 2014

Detroit’s pension boards and a retirees’ group say they have reached tentative agreements with the city that could serve as a breakthrough in its quest to settle with its major creditors and propel itself out of bankruptcy before the end of the year.

JEFF JACOBY PUBLIC PENSION OPINION IS COMPLETELY OFF BASE

APRIL 10, 2014: In the Sunday, March 23, 2014 edition of the Boston Globe, conservative opinion columnist Jeff Jacoby penned an op-ed titled "Public pensions are eating taxpayers alive".

Winchester retiree health costs revisited

By Kathy McCabe
Globe Staff April 10, 2014

Winchester selectmen have scaled back a plan to make retirees pay half the cost of their health insurance premiums, a plan that ignited a backlash from retired town workers.

The Board of Selectmen now proposes increasing premiums to 30 percent for people who retired before 2004, and phasing in the plan over an 18-month period, starting July 1. Later retirees would still pay 50 percent of their premiums, but it would be phased in over two years, according to the proposal.

Retirees Mourn Boston Tragedy

Retirees Mourn Boston Tragedy

MARCH 27, 2014: On behalf of our members, the Association offers the deepest condolences to the families of Boston Fire Lt. Edward J. Walsh and Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy, as well as to the Boston Fire Department. The two members of Boston Fire Fighters Local 718 were tragically lost on Wednesday, while fighting a nine-alarm fire on Beacon Street in Boston’s Back Bay.

Good News Flows From GIC

Good News Flows From GIC

FY2015 Insurance Rates Hold Steady at 1% Increase

MARCH 6, 2014: State and municipal retirees, receiving their health insurance through the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC), received welcome good news on Wednesday – health insurance premiums for FY15 will remain largely unchanged.

ALERT: BOSTON MEMBERS ON ACCIDENTAL DISABILITY

Help With Your Form 1099-R

We’ve been receiving calls and emails from Boston members who receive an accidental (work related) disability pension. They were surprised to see that the federal income tax statement they recently received from the Boston Retirement Board, known as Form 1099-R, was totally different from the forms they received in previous years.

President Drops Chained CPI Proposal From Federal Budget

FEBRUARY 21, 2014: Heeding calls from retiree advocates (including our Association) and Democratic Leaders, President Obama has dropped a provision from his federal budget proposal that would have used the chained CPI to calculate Social Security COLAs.

Obama to drop entitlement cuts from 2015 budget

By REID J. EPSTEIN and EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE | 2/20/14 1:34 PM EST Updated: 2/21/14 5:36 AM EST

President Barack Obama is done pretending that he’ll get any new budget cooperation from House Republicans.

His proposed 2015 budget, due to be released next month, will stick to the economic strategy the White House has laid out without the compromise suggestion he floated last year, White House officials said Thursday.

GIC Announces 2014 Health Fair Schedule

FEBRUARY 19, 2014: Annual open enrollment for the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) is set to run from April 9 – May 7, 2014. If you receive your insurance through the GIC this is your opportunity to make changes to your insurance coverage for the coming fiscal year.

Middleborough Retirees Get Their Day In Court

Middleborough Retirees Get Their Day In Court

Argue Before State’s Highest Court

February 5, 2014: For more than 6 years, we’ve been reporting on the activities of the Middleborough Retiree Insurance Group (MRIG) which organized back in ’07. “Our Association has a tradition of working with local retiree groups, particularly on the issues of municipal health insurance and local pension COLAs (Cost-of-Living Adjustments),” according to President Valeri. “That relationship includes Middleboro.