Our Legislative Program - Your Issues Are Our Concerns
RPEA closely monitors activities in the legislature to identify, track and analyze issues effecting public service retirees today and in the future.
Our efforts in this regard rely on an effective 2 part strategy – One utilizing our strong regional presence in our local Chapters. The other focusing on activities in the Capital itself.
Our regional Chapters each maintain an active Community Lobby Committee consisting of local members committed to supporting our legislative agenda by establishing and maintaining effective communication with elected officials in their local offices. They regularly meet with legislators and their staffs to express the views and concerns of the organization with a special emphasis on those of the legislators own constituents.
Staff and volunteers engage in a wide range of activities to keep abreast of emerging issues and to design and conduct efforts aimed at protecting or enhancing the rights and benefits of members. Examples of some of the things we do:
- Actively lobby key legislators and officials on issues that will benefit and protect public retirees.
- Draft and submit legislation and work closely with legislators to analyze and refine legislation. It also supports legislation submitted by others, which benefits its members.
- Track and analyze legislation that impacts our members and keeps them fully informed.
- Advise legislators, both State and Federal, concerning the effects of proposed laws or regulations on public retirees.
- Organize and participate in campaigns in support of major issues that affect public retirees.
RPEA Legislative Principles
PRESERVE Retired Employees' Health Insurance Benefits
Retirees have generally enjoyed health insurance benefits equal to those of active employees. With rising costs, some public employers are attempting to erode this vital benefit. RPEA is seeking adequate and affordable health insurance coverage for every public retiree.
SUPPORT Income Security for Retirees
Inflation erodes retirees' standard of living, especially for lower income and older retirees. Increases in pension benefits have lagged far behind the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Improved Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) to enable retirees to combat inflation and maintain an adequate standard of living should be enacted.
PROMOTE Uniform Treatment for Similar Groups of Retirees
Arbitrary distinctions should be avoided when pension benefits are improved. Additionally, survivors' benefits to pensioners' families should be kept current.
PROTECT Pension System Integrity and Fairness
Reasonable public policies relating to public retirees should be maintained to prevent abuse of the pension system. Administrative and legislative processes should be reformed to insure openness and accountability of the public pension systems
RPEA Retired Public Employees Association, 435 New Karner Road, Albany, NY 12205, (518) 869-2542 or toll-free (800) 726-7732