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Officers
Left To Right:

Dan Rudd, Sec/Trea
Judy Foster, President
David Schopp, V.P.

MEA-Retired Publications

2014 Summer Michigan Retirement Report (PDF)

2014 Spring Michigan Retirement Report (PDF)

MEA-Retired Tribune Newsletter

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

MiARA Newsletters

August 2014

MEA - Retired

  • LPIC-Committee
  • NEA-Organizing-Conference
  • Delegates-to-Denver

Senator Jansen is Shopping MPSERS Defined Contribution Package

Late last year, a package of bills that would make significant changes to MPSERS – including shifting new hires into a defined contribution pension – were introduced and referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.  The bills, SB 722-728, have been promoted by Senator Mark Jansen (R-Gaines Twp.), one of the key sponsors.  The Senate Appropriations Committee has yet to take action on these bills, but now that the budget is completed, that may change.

Senator Jansen has been meeting with school management organizations over the past few months to drum up support for the package, especially the defined contribution portion.  We expect that once the Legislature returns from summer recess, we could see hearings beginning on these bills (see below). 

Election 2014---It’s Time to Express Yourself

It goes without saying that electing legislators who are “friendly” to public school employees and retirees is a priority for the November elections. In 2011, when Gov. Snyder was elected, he called his approach to “reinventing” Michigan as “relentless positive actions.” Governor Snyder defined “relentless positive action” as solving a problem with no credit or blame and then moving on to the next problem. For Michigan’s retirees and working families this has come to mean relentless attacks on their earnings, their benefits.

Public education has seen yearly cuts, larger class sizes, shrinking school budgets, school closings and a increasing number of school districts in financial distress. For public school employees, it’s meant stripping them of their bargaining rights, and demeaning their profession and attaching their union.

Many of the 600 laws adopted by the Legislature have had a devastating impact on public education and public employees and retirees. Remember PA 300 of 2012 that retroactively allows for the taxation of Michigan Public Pensions, based upon age and income. The shift in health care costs to retirees and health care subsidy reduced to 80%. It’s plain to see that the action by Gov. Snyder has been relentless-not positive.

This year let’s remember to make your voice heard and vote for candidates that will fight and protect public education and children and fight to protect retiree pensions and benefits. For more information click here.

CSR Unveils Pension Study

In June, the Coalition for Secure Retirement held a press conference in Lansing to announce the results of the pension study it had commissioned. Mitch Bean, the author of the paper, discussed his findings along with former Michigan Treasurer Robert Klein who also worked on the study. CSR President Nick Ciaramitaro opened up the press conference, and he was joined on the dais by State Representative Andy Schor (D-Lansing) and Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum (D-Onondaga).

Key findings of the study included:

  • There are immediate and substantial costs when closing a defined benefit pension related to having to reduce the time period in which unfunded liabilities must be paid;
  • Defined benefit pensions offer a much more generous benefit to retirees than a defined contribution plan for the same cost to the employer;
  • Defined contribution plans place high risks on retirees and often do not provide sufficient retirement income;
  • Switching to a defined contribution plan could force some employers who currently do not pay Social Security costs to do so in the future.
Lansing Rally

MEA-Retired members attended the rally in Lansing on August 20th. The rally was held to expose Governor Synder’s real record. Rick Snyder called for "shared sacrifice." But what Snyder took was billions from children, seniors, and education.

He imposed a brand new retirement tax on seniors and eliminated tax credits costing the middle class thousands.

The Michigan Legislators have passed over 600 laws since January of 2011, with many of them having a devastating effect on retirees and public education. Listed below is a summary of just one of these laws, passed by the legislators and SIGNED BY GOVERNOR SYNDER!

Lansing Rally

Public Act 300 did the following:

  • Retirement costs shifted to retirees and current employees
  • Retroactively allows taxation of Michigan Public Pensions—based upon age and Income
  • Negatively affects all retirees born after December 31, 1945
  • Creates Discriminatory Pension Tax based on age
  • Health Care costs shifted to Retirees
  • Non-Medicare retirees health care subsidy reduced to 80%
  • Retirees Health Care permanently set, based on age

The rally was sponsored by the Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans and was held on the Capitol Lawn.

Due to a Weather Emergency the August 13th Lansing Event postponed until August 20th

COME TO LANSING AUG.20th!

LET'S TELL GOV. SNYDER HIS KIND OF "SHARED SACRIFICE" IS NOT SHARED BY ALL!

WHERE: Lansing State Capitol; East Side
WHEN: Wednesday, August 20th at 9:30AM
RSVP: Alan Fosnacht (248) 892-9131



Rick Snyder called for "shared sacrifice." But what Snyder took was billions from children, seniors, and education.

He imposed a brand new retirement tax on seniors and eliminated tax credits costing the middle class thousands.

But there's another secret Rick Snyder doesn't want you to know. When Snyder sacrificed the middle class, he was secretly working to double his cousin's furniture contract with the state, costing taxpayers $41 million per year

Now, it must be nice to be one of Rick Snyder's cousins, but that is not what we call "shared sacrifice." The truth is, Snyder raided the middle class and schools to pay for family giveaways and tax cuts for the rich.

That's not the Michigan way and it's time Rick Snyder is held accountable for his anti-middle-class agenda.

Join us on August 20th for a rally to expose Snyder's real record.
If you would like to speak at the rally, please send an email to staff@mea-retired.org and tell us your story. Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans and MEA-Retired.



MEA-Retired delegates in Denver, Colorado

The NEA-Retired Annual Meeting was held in Denver, Colorado, June 28 and 29. The NEA Convention concluded July 6.

At the NEA-Retired Annual Meeting, Cleorah Scruggs-DeBose was elected to a three year term as an alternate to the NEA Board of Directors. Sally McNamara will serve a one year term as a member of the Resolutions Committee and Kathleen Huey will be an alternate to the committee. Michigan is well represented since Dan Rudd serves on the NEA Board representing NEA-Retired. Al Beamish serves on the NEA-Retired Executive Council.

Dignitaries who addressed delegates were, NEA President Dennis VanRoekel, NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen Garcia, and Secretary/Treasurer Becky Pringle. Tom Curran was elected as NEA-Retired President for a second three year term.

MEA-Retired received the NEA-Retired Website (mea-retired.org) Award. This award reveals the dedication and time the officers have spent creating and keeping the site up-to-date. Kyle Shumaker serves as our webmaster and we appreciate his efforts.

Elected delegates from MEA-Retired attending the NEA-Retired Annual meeting and the NEA convention are: Al Beamish, Linda Brunson, Elias Chapa, Rose Cross, Judy Daley, Vivian Davis, Colleen Ford, Judy Foster, Roger Foster, Catherine Frederick, John Frederick, Anne Good, Jeanne Hansen, Silvia Henry-Walton, Kathleen Huey, Diana Irons, Pam, Keller, Penny Letts, Bob Letts, Sally McNamara, Liz Metcalf, Elaine Miller, Nan Palm, Bill Papo, Dan Rudd, Linda Russell, Jack Schneider, Dave Schopp, Barb Schram, Leon Scott, Cleorah, Scruggs-DeBose, Juliette Smith, Jim Sparapani, and Mary Yedinak.

Liability Coverage in the Classroom

Several retirees have questions in regards to libabily insurance if the sub or volunteer in a classroom. We finally have an answer from NEA which, is below.

If a Retired member is performing educational employment activities in an educational unit, they will not be precluded from coverage whether hired directly or by a third party.

The claim forms for Retired members are the same as for Active members. In Section II of the claim form is where the affiliate identifies the membership category. Dave Kilpatrick, NE Senior Program Specialist

Michigan Supreme Court Ruling / MPSERS

On May 22, 2014, the Michigan Supreme Court issued two orders regarding cases filed by the Michigan Education Association, the AFT Michigan, and others dealing with changes enacted by the Michigan legislature in 2010 and 2012 to the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement Act (“MPSERA”).....Read More.

Retiree Earnings Limitations (retired on or after 7/1/2010)

With the exception of working in a Critical Shortage position for no more than three years or until July 1, 2014, whichever comes first, a member who retires on or after July 1, 2010, and returns to work as an employee of the reporting unit, can earn up to one-third of their final average compensation in the calendar year without penalty. However, if they exceed that amount, they will forfeit their pension and health insurance subsidy until his or her employment ceases....Read More

MEA SCREENING AND RECOMMENDATION PROCESS

Every election year some members complain to MEA-Retired that “MEA is telling me how to vote.” That is not true. A local committee of your fellow MEA members interviews all candidates who seek MEA endorsement. The committee is generally comprised of seven to nine members including, ESP, Higher Education, EA and retired members. MEA staff do not have voting rights on the committee. All coordinating councils who have school districts or colleges which are wholly or partially contained in the legislative district have an equal right to participate in the screening. After interviewing candidates, the committee makes a decision, sometimes choosing not to recommend at all. If the committee makes a recommendation, it is communicated to the entire MEA membership residing in the legislative district, both retired and active members....Read More.

Verification of coverage forms coming soon

Be on the lookout for the 2014 Verification of Coverage form. Forms will be mailed to all members in May. You must return your completed form by July 15th even if you don't have other coverage. Be sure to complete your VOC s soon as you receive it to ensure continuous coverage.

Delta Dental PPO Letter

Dear MPSERS member:
Effective January 1, 2014, your dental plan will change from Delta Dental PPOSM (Point-of-Service) to Delta Dental PPO (Standard). This change may affect how your claims are paid. In addition, your annual maximum has increased to $1,100 per calendar year....Read More.

A BLUE CROSS SEMINAR IS COMING TO A PLACE NEAR YOU.

Blue Cross Blue Shield is holding seminars for MEDICARE members who are Michigan Public School Employees. All seminars run from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. To make a reservation, call 1-800-229-2018 or www.bcbsmseminar.com. Have your BCBS ID available.

Dates and places:
May 22, Grand Rapids, Frederik Gardens; May 28, Frankenmuth, Bavarian Inn; June 3, Lansing Crowne Plaza – Lansing West; June 9 and 10, Sterling Heights, Sterling Inn; June 18 and 19, Novi, Sheraton Novi; June 23 and 24, Detroit, Double Tree Detroit – Dearborn; June 26, Sterling Heights, Sterling Inn.

Medicare Advantage Education Seminar
www.bcbsmseminar.com

Delta Dental PPO Letter

Dear MPSERS member:
Effective January 1, 2014, your dental plan will change from Delta Dental PPOSM (Point-of-Service) to Delta Dental PPO (Standard). This change may affect how your claims are paid. In addition, your annual maximum has increased to $1,100 per calendar year....Read More.

ORSMPSERS Survey

The Office of Retirement Service (ORS) / MPSERS (Michigan Public School
Employees Retirement System) made major changes in our health care
insurances starting on January 1, 2014.  Many of our members have expressed
concerns or issues in regards to these changes.  We have conducted an
on-line survey of our members who use email.  The survey began on March 2,
2014.  So far 773 of our members have taken the survey.  To read the
complete results of the survey by clicking here.

MEA-Retired members at NEA Organizing Conference Houston TX.

Governor and Legislature Damage Michigan's Working Families

The Michigan Legislature and Governor have adopted more than 600 laws since January of 2011.  Many of these laws have had devastating effect on public education, working families, public school employees and retirees.  In addition, our Legislators delayed the implementation of Medicaid for the poor which resulted in a cost to Michigan of $630,000,000.  This action also denied coverage to 500,000 of Michigan’s poorest citizens.

Listed below are brief summations statements that highlight and categorize some of the most significant laws that were enacted since January 2011....Read More

RETIREE HEALTH CARE

Rates Increase Substantially

Retiree Health Care Rates Increase Substantially - The new 2014 health/dental/vision retiree rates that were recently released by the Office of Retirement Services indicated that full family rates for non-Medicare retirees increased by $1.18. However, one needs to compare the most recent rate increase to the relatively huge rate increase in 2013. Legislators are often ignorant on the extent of the costs that are absorbed by retirees for their health care insurance program. The following indicates the dollar amount and percentage of health care rate increases for non-Medicare retirees only. As you can see, the costs absorbed by retirees are significant. As an example, in 2010, full family medical/dental/vision combined rates increased by 15.97 percent for a $27.72 increase. In 2011, the full family rates increased by 2 percent or $4.16. Health/dental/vision insurance rates in 2012 decreased by 1.4 percent, for a reduction of $2.94. However in 2013 retirees saw rates jump by 58.4 percent for an increase of $118.23.....Read More

Retiree Earnings Limitations (retired on or after 7/1/2010)

With the exception of working in a Critical Shortage position for no more than three years or until July 1, 2014, whichever comes first, a member who retires on or after July 1, 2010, and returns to work as an employee of the reporting unit, can earn up to one-third of their final average compensation in the calendar year without penalty. However, if they exceed that amount, they will forfeit their pension and health insurance subsidy until his or her employment ceases.....Read More

Charter School Advocates Attack MPSERS Funding

From the AFT (Coalition partner of MEA and MEA-Retired)

Governor Snyder recommended that $100 million from the School Aid Fund be used in next year's School Aid budget to go toward the Michigan Public School Retirement System. This would reduce the MPSERS rate for participating schools by an additional 1.2 percent, allowing...Read More

Another Attack on Pensions and Health Care

Gretchen Dziadosz, MEA Exec. Dir.

At the end of the 2013 legislative session, seven bills were introduced in the Michigan Senate  that further undercut school employee pensions...Read More