May 2007

Local Adoption Increase in Child Allowance

An inequity, that had persisted in the retirement law for
several years, was finally corrected last year. It involves the amount of the
child allowance paid to a retiree on accidental disability versus the amount
received by their widow (or widower) if the retiree died from their disability.

New Retiree On Tewksbury PEC

2007 MAY - Retired Fire Lieutenant Phillip Zerofski is the retiree
designee on the Tewksbury Public Employee Committee (PEC). He succeeds another
firefighter, Merrill Marshall, who had sat on the PEC since its inception.

Retiree Drug Subsidy

2007 MAY - Over two years ago, our Association called upon the state
and local governments to earmark federal retiree drug subsidies (RDS) toward
defraying retiree healthcare costs. Among our proposals, we suggested that
since these federal funds would be paid for by retirees who were enrolled in Medicare,
then the RDS should be used to refund these same retirees for the premiums that
they pay under Medicare Part B.

Death of Bob Hamilton Leaves Opening For Berkshire VP

2007 MAY - Robert Hamilton, our Berkshire area Vice President, passed
away this February after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

Past Challenges

2007 MAY - Over the years, we have reported on a number of hurricanes
and tornadoes that have raised havoc with our Florida members, most recently
hurricanes Charley, Francis, Ivan and Jean, which impacted broad areas of the
state in 2004. Hurricane Charley was especially brutal, coming ashore on the
Gulf Coast community of Punta Gorda in August ‘04, wiping out a thousand mobile
and manufactured homes.

Florida Living Can Be Challenging

2007 MAY - Members, who move to Florida seeking a nice relaxed
retirement with year ‘round sunshine, have found that state to be anything but
relaxed.

GASB Update

2007 MAY - Almost three years ago, we pulled the alarm over a somewhat
obscure Wall Street board, known as the Governmental Accounting Standards Board
(GASB), and its Statement 45. Essentially, Statement 45 required that state and
local governments disclose on their financial papers the total amount of their
unfunded liability for future retiree healthcare costs, beginning this July 1,
in most cases. Now it’s being addressed on several fronts.

Looking At City of Newton Pensions

2007 MAY - In the March edition of the Voice, we reported on an
actuarial valuation of the Plymouth County Retirement System, showing for the
first time the average pensions of a retirement system by gender. The valuation
was done by Buck Consultants.

$10,000 Life For Barnstable Retirees

2007 MAY - Vote By County Commissioners - Last year, Barnstable County Commissioners Mary LeClair,
William Doherty and Lance Lambros voted to increase the amount of group life
insurance from $7,500 to $10,000 for the county retirees and employees.

Chelmsford and Wellfleet Retirees Oppose Medicare

2007 MAY - Chelmsford and
Wellfleet Retirees Oppose Medicare
- Last November, we reported on a legal
challenge to stop the town of Chelmsford
from increasing its retirees’ share of their health insurance premiums. While
no decision has yet been made, our Chelmsford
members have reported to us that in the meantime, other issues have come to the
forefront.