Category Archives: Retirement

Early retirement?

Posted March, 2015
Dear USA members,
The following communication was sent out by the MTA last night and as promised I am sharing it with you:
Early retirement does not cover higher ed.  We understand that Governor Baker’s Office of Administration and Finance responded to a legislative inquiry that the Governor did not intend to include higher education in his early retirement proposal.  The legislation he submitted is not a model of clarity, but is consistent with an intent to exclude employees of public higher education institutions.
GIC: The Governor is proposing to increase the premium contributions for state employees.  Currently employees hired before July 1, 2003 contribute 20% for an 80/20 premium split – next year these employees would contribute 25%.  Employees hired after 2003 who now contribute 25% would continue to contribute 25% next year.  The premium splits which apply to current retirees differ depending on the date of retirement in a range from 90/10 to 80/20.  Governor Baker proposes that employees who retire after July 1, 2015 contribute 25%, for a split of 75/25.

At this time I am not sure if making phone calls to legislators will help but I can’t see that it would hurt asking them to try to get higher ed included.  I do have a concern that jobs vacated by early retirement will not be backfilled like the last early retirement. This has created a hardship for many people with excessive workloads and stress.

I would ask folks to call or email your legislators asking them to NOT raise our premium splits.  Our co-pays and deductibles have been raised and in most cases doubled already, last week I picked up a prescription that had a $60.00 co-pay for a 90 day supply and now it has a $120.00 co-pay for the same 90 day supply.  Add to that the fact that we haven’t received our cost of living increases that were bargained in good faith and once again it feels like our new Governor wants to balance his budget deficit on our backs.

WE must fight back or they will eat us alive.  This will be a long term battle so let’s get started and let them hear from USA. When contacting legislators you can say you understand that Governor Baker is proposing to increase our health care premium splits and with the co pay and deductible changes already made you feel this is unfair for him to try to balance the state’s deficit on state workers backs.  Enough is enough!!!  if you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me.  I am in New Orleans at a conference but I will respond as soon as I can.  Hope everyone is safe and warm back home,

In solidarity,
Donna Johnson