March 2007

Dighton Retirees Pay Less for Health Insurance

2007 MAR - Town Agrees To Contribute More - While it may seem at times that all of the news about local health insurance involves a fight between retirees and officials, it’s not so. And, the town of Dighton is an excellent example.

Remember: Apply for Fuel Assistance Before April 30

2007 MAR - Last year some 143,000 households obtained assistance with their home fuel bills, according to officials that administer the state’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP. “From calls that we received here in the office, members were among that number,” comments Association Office Manager Nancy Delaney.“If you want to apply this year (for heating bills from November 2006 through April 2007), remember that you must do so before April 30. Applications should be filed with the local LIHEAP agency in your area.”

Group Life Insurance: Increase in Coverage Overdue

2007 MAR - It’s been over 21 years since Governor Michael Dukakis signed Chapter 648 of the Acts of 1985 which increased the amount of basic group life insurance for active and retired state employees from $2,000 to $5,000.

Romney Nixes Bill to Allow Increased Public Sector Earnings For Retirees

2007 MAR - Legislation, that would have increased the amount of money that public sector retirees  could earn while working part-time for the state or local government, was enacted by the Legislature, but rejected by Governor Romney this past December.

Looking at a Local Retirement System from a Different Angle

2007 MAR - Average Pension On A Gender Basis - In studying and reporting on average pensions at the local level, we have never incorporated pensions by gender, nor separated disability pensions from superannuation pensions. The most recent actuarial data of the Plymouth County Retirement System, as prepared by Buck Consultants, does give such a breakdown and enables  us to chart pensions on both a gender and disability basis.

Retirement Board Profile: Framingham

2007 MAR - In addition to representing members before the state and federal governments, Association officials work closely with local leaders to represent retiree interests at the municipal level.

Former Speaker Remembered For His Pension Legislation Leadership

2007 MAR - Although former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Thomas Finneran, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice this January and was pilloried by the news media as expected, it is only fair that our members be reminded of Finneran’s work on behalf of public sector retirees and survivors.

Paul Doane Appointed to Pension Oversight Agency

2007 MAR - Harwich Republican Is Former State Senator - One of outgoing Governor Mitt Romney’s appointments which we wholeheartedly agree, was the naming of Paul Doane to fill a seat on the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC), the state’s key pension oversight agency. Doane’s term will run until October 29, 2010.

GIC Retiree Dental Program: Key Features

Administered by MetLife beginning July 1.

GIC Selects Metlife for State Retiree Dental Plan

2007 MAR - Lower Premiums Beginning This July - Soon there will be a new face to the state’s retiree dental plan. It belongs to Snoopy, the famous beagle from the Peanuts comic strip.