RPEA Legislative Priorities 2013
I. Recognize the voices of public service retirees by:
- Establishing an institutional representative for all public service reitrees in New York State and local government in an agency of State government and authorizing a recognized non-profit retiree organization to provide advocacy for their unique needs.
Public service retirees have no right to collective bargaining under the Taylor Law and indeed, once retired, have nothing to bargain for financial security and affordable health care. Their interests ought to be safe guarded by a non-union representative entity with a formal role in a relevant government agency.
II. Preserve public retirees’ access to affordable health insurance by:
- Guaranteeing NYSHIP contribution percentages for State Retirees.
RPEA has commenced litigation contesting the State's requiring higher NYSHIP percentage contribution rates enacted after retirement. The case is currently on appeal, but the Legislation should clarify the right to fixed contribution percentage rates at the time of retirement from public service
- Enacting a 90 days notice requirement before any locality may change a public retiree health insurance plan (A.1227, Abinanti).
Municipal governments can reduce health insurance coverage without any advance notice to public service retirees who may be receiving medical treatment. There should be full disclosure of all local government actions to enable retirees to suggest cost effective alternatives without reducing the level of health insurance protection.
III. Support Income Security for Public Service Retirees by:
- Increasing the maximum allowable public service earnings to $35,000 per year for public retirees from the current allowable amount of $30,000.
State Civil Service Department studies have shown that it is cost effective to hire retirees with specialized skills to fulfill emergency staffing needs. The maximum earnings limit has not been increased since 2007.
IV. Protect the Integrity of the Public Service Pension System by:
- Reforming abuses in the State and local pension systems and by keeping the State Comptroller as the Sole Fiduciary of the Common Retirement Funds.
RPEA Legislative Bulletins-2013
RPEA Retired Public Employees Association, 435 New Karner Road, Albany, NY 12205, (518) 869-2542 or toll-free (800) 726-7732