Latest from Mass Retirees
DECEMBER 19, 2014: As reported in the January 2014 edition of the Voice, the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) is grappling with a significant budget deficit for the current fiscal year.
However, it now appears that the problem is more significant than previously thought. At today’s GIC meeting, Executive Director Dolores Mitchell characterized the deficit as being “north of $120 million” – some $70 million higher than previously thought.
Join us at 11:00 am this coming Friday, December 5th for the Association's annual Central Mass. meeting. Once again the meeting will be held at Shrewsbury' Frohsinn Club, 25 North Quinsigamond Ave. (1/2 block off Rt. 9).
NOVEMBER 21, 2014: At its monthly meeting, the state’s Group Insurance Commission discussed a growing concern for the health plan administrators, as well as our Association – a growing multimillion dollar budget shortfall, combined with a downturn in state tax collections.
NOVEMBER 15, 2014: This week marked the first significant development toward providing retirees with relief from the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) in several years.
On Thursday, Congressmen Richard Neal (D-MA) and Kevin Brady (R-TX) filed H.R. 5697, The Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act. The bill is the direct result of nearly a year’s worth of collaboration between our Association, the Texas Retired Teachers Association and Ohio Retired Teachers.
For members and their guests who are planning to attend the Northampton Meeting this Friday, please take special note that the meeting begins at 11:00.
This was the time posted in the November Voice, as well as announced on the Hotline. Unfortunately some members may have received a mailing that indicated a 1:00 start time, which is incorrect. We apologize for any confusion the mailing may have caused.
WE HOPE TO SEE YOU AT 11:00.
CLARION HOTEL, One Atwood Drive, Northampton
OCTOBER 28, 2014: The 62,000 member Retired State, County and Municipal Employees Association (Mass Retirees) endorsed Martha Coakley for Governor.
“We feel strongly that Martha Coakley is the right choice for Governor of Massachusetts,” said Association President Frank Valeri. “Retirees deserve a governor who will protect their pension and healthcare, without the constant threat of the budget unfairly being balanced on their backs.”
OCTOBER 24, 2014: Earlier this month the Association mailed a six-part questionnaire to all five Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates. The goal was to learn the candidates’ views toward public retirees, defined benefit pension plans and retiree health insurance benefits.
Vows to Make Affordable Health Care A Priority
Boston – The 62,000 member strong Retired State, County and Municipal Employees Association “Mass Retirees” has endorsed Maura Healey for Attorney General.
The Association cites Healey’s public service background and, specifically, her work on health care issues as the reason for the endorsement.
The Massachusetts state treasurer could stay busy with the basic responsibilities of managing the state’s cash flow and debt. But the holder of the office has a much broader portfolio, overseeing the state school building fund, lottery, alcoholic beverages commission, public pension fund, state retirement board, and other duties. The position demands an executive with high energy and wide-ranging experience. That candidate is Democrat Deb Goldberg.Read Full Article: Boston Globe
A Herald editorial cites a recent report by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation on health insurance coverage for retired public employees (“The retiree dilemma,” Sept. 27). Like similar reports filed by the MTF in recent years, this report we believe is flawed and biased toward an ideological position, to cut retiree benefits.
In addition to cherry-picking its data to paint the most dire results, the MTF fails to account for reforms passed in 2009 and 2011. Communities opting into the new laws have collectively saved nearly $250 million in their first year.Read Full Article: Boston Herald
September 27, 2014
Boston Herald Editorial
Among those items of unfinished business the Patrick administration — and this sitting of the Legislature — leave behind is any attempt to reform the health care benefits paid to retired municipal workers that are bankrupting the state’s poorest communities.Read Full Article: Boston Herald Editorial
Last week, the Mass. Taxpayers Foundation (MTF) released its latest report on municipal retiree health insurance. As expected the report finds that the cost of municipal health insurance plans is unsustainable, and as such, benefit reductions are called for. Click here to view the report.
By Andy Metzger
Published: September 22, 2014
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, SEPT. 22, 2014…..Retiree health care costs are sapping more and more money each year from cities that are ill prepared to weather new fiscal burdens, according to a new report from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
The dynamic of retiree health care costs growing faster than property tax revenues exists throughout Bay State cities and towns, according MTF President Michael Widmer, who said cities where lower incomes predominate have fewer resources to succeed under those conditions.Read Full Article: State House News Service
SEPTEMBER 12, 2014: This week Association officials traveled to Washington, D.C. for a series of meetings on the issue of the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision – AKA the “WEP” law.
SEPTEMBER 10, 2014: Association members turned out in droves in support of our endorsed candidates on primary Election Day.
On a day when overall turnout amongst the general voting public was very low, retirees helped propel Deb Goldberg and Steve Kerrigan to victory in the Democratic primary for State Treasurer and Lt. Governor, respectively. Goldberg now faces Republican Michael Heffernan in the General Election November 4th.
SEPTEMBER 4, 2014: Citing his record of support for public retirees, the Retired State, County and Municipal Employees Association (Mass Retirees) has officially endorsed Warren Tolman for Massachusetts Attorney General.
During his two terms in both the House and Senate, Tolman quickly developed a reputation for standing up for working class issues. As a believer in public service, Tolman stood by public retirees during attempts to slash retiree benefits in the 1990s.
THE NEXT Massachusetts governor will make choices that will define the state’s economic destiny. Greater Boston may seem relatively secure in the good graces of the knowledge economy, but the next governor must have policies on taxes, transportation, energy, health care, and housing that provide incentives to convince promising startups to stay here and expand. Outside the Boston area, the choices only get harder. Can the state’s gateway cities rebuild their crumbling downtowns and faltering school systems to attract the manufacturers who are starting to bring jobs back from overseas? Read Full Article: Boston Globe Editorial