In the last session‘s filing of legislation we asked for our members and others retired from the Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System to take a survey to help us justify the legislation. The cooperation of so many helped us to have successfully passed two bills, which will become law in April of 2012. One was the Maternity Bill, now known as Chapter 176, that allows those who retired prior to September 2000 and were forced to leave the classroom prior to January 1975 to have a child, to get credit of up to 4 years of this unpaid leave. Contact Marie Ardito at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more information on this new law. The other successful law we had passed was to enable those who return to public sector jobs in Massachusetts to increase what they previously could make by $15,000.
One area we are looking for your input is to see if you feel the 960-hour limit for working in the public sector should be increased or eliminated?
In July 2004 the penalty for those who took Option B was reduced from 3% to 1% and those who took Option C the penalty was cut just about in half. Yet the penalties remained the same for those retired prior to that date whose pensions are half or less than those getting the benefit. Those who are survivors of someone who took an Option C are also getting a smaller pension. Also those who retired prior to January of 1988 had their penalty also affected by the gender of the member and in the case of Option C members, the age of the beneficiary.
Those who retired after May 24, 1996 were able to add up to 4 years of their veteran’s service time to their creditable service. We want to extend this same benefit to those who retired prior to that date and were classified as veterans as long as they do not exceed 80%.
We will continue working toward increasing the amount of the COLA base to $16,000 and working to have a law that will automatically increase that base every 4 years.
We also want your input into legislation you would like to see filed at either the federal or state level to correct injustices that presently exist.
Please complete the following survey and press the submit button when it is completed. It would be helpful if you would email this address http://retireesunited.org/pages/Survey3.html to a friend so that they might also complete the survey. You can download and print the survey if you would like to mail it in or give it to a friend who doesn't have access to a computer.