Latest from Mass Retirees
By Joshua Miller Globe Staff March 02, 2015
Facing the prospect of a daunting state budget gap, Governor Charlie Baker will file legislation this week aimed at enticing thousands of state employees to retire early. But if the move does not generate the expected savings, workers will be laid off, a top official said Sunday.Read Full Article: Boston Globe
By Beth Healy
Globe Staff February 24, 2015
Deborah Goldberg settles into a chair by the fireplace in the state treasurer’s office, the first woman to take residence there in a dozen years. She has rearranged the furniture, living-room-style, to be more inviting.
Reduces Costs by $145m Over Three-Years
FEBRUARY 18, 2015: Following an extensive search process, the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) voted to retain CVS CareMark for at least another three-years beginning July 1, 2015. The Rhode Island-based firm has been the pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) for the GIC’s UniCare plans since 2010.
Association Deeply Opposes $60m Cost Shift
FEBRUARY 17, 2015: Over the objections of our Association and union representatives, the Commonwealth’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) voted to increase copayments and deductibles for Fiscal Year 2016, beginning July 1, 2015.
While this increase marks the first of its kind in more than five years, Association officials strongly oppose what we view as further cost shifting onto the backs of retirees and employees who utilize their insurance benefits.
February 4, 2015: Association officials were present and offered testimony at the state Group Insurance Commission’s (GIC) annual public hearing held today at the State House.
Retired state employees who are members will shortly receive a ballot for a very important election. As you know the State Retirement Board has two elected members who serve on staggered three-year terms – Ralph White and Theresa McGoldrick.
Blizzard May Cause Postal Delays
JANUARY 29, 2015: Tax documents for retired Massachusetts public employees are now in the process of being issued by the 10 retirement systems.
The IRS gives retirement boards (and all employers) through January 30th to issue 1099s to those retirees and surviving spouses who received a retirement allowance in 2014. Some systems have already mailed the forms to retirees. All members should receive their 1099 document by the end of the first week of February.
The Association will hold its annual Northeastern Mass. Meeting on Friday, January 23rd at the Holiday Inn Tewksbury. The meeting will begin at 11:00 am and last approximately 90 minutes. As always, attendence prizes will be drawn at the conclusion of the meeting.
The Holiday Inn is located at 4 Highwood Drive, Tewksbury. Members travling on I495 should use exit 39.
JANUARY 16, 2015: The Association has completed the filing process for its 2015-16 Legislative package. Under joint House-Senate rules, the deadline was Friday, January 16, 2015 at 5:00 pm.
All told, fourteen separate bills make up the Association’s proposal for the new session that began on January 7th and lasts through the first Tuesday in January 2017. Bills will shortly be assigned numbers and be assigned to various committees for review.
Legislature & Patrick Act at 11th Hour
JANUARY 8, 2015: Moments before taking his “lone walk” down to the front steps of the State House on his final evening as Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick signed into law our Association’s bill adjusting the outside earnings limits of accidental disability retirees – now Chapter 492, Acts of 2014.
The Association will be holding its annual winter membership meetings in January and February. Association members are encouraged to attend and welcome to bring a guest. Please note, all Association meetings now begin at 11:00am unless otherwise noted.
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.