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Federal Issues

  • Oppose any reductions in Medicare and Social Security.
  • Support federal legislation which would change the measure of inflation currently used to calculate the Social Security COLA from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) to an index called the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), which more accurately reflects costs borne by seniors, such as medical care.
  • Provide free over-the-counter at home COVID-19 test kits to Medicare enrollees, as is the case for those insured by other providers.
  • Support measures designed to ensure the long-term financial security of the Social Security program such as removal of the threshold after which Social Security taxes are no longer withheld from an individual’s earnings. Effective 1/1/2022, the earnings threshold is $147,000.

State Issues

the 2022 Legislative Session

Legislative Priorities
RPEA’s top 4 priorities include:

  • Increase the pension COLA
  • Ensuring that NYSHIP Empire Plan Medicare-primary retirees do not receive a reduction of benefits regarding access to Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Opposing the New York Health Act (Single Payer) as written, due to its uncertainty regarding existing retiree benefits, especially for those out of state: A6058 Gottfried (Codes), S5474 Rivera (Health).
  • Permitting retirees to make a voluntary dues deduction from their pension for RPEA membership: A7470 DenDekker (Governmental Employees), S4898 Gounardes (Civil Service and Pensions)

Other Bills of Interest

  • Assure that all NYSHIP Medicare charges (including Part D IRMAA) are reimbursed: A3358 Abbate (Ways & Means), S4148 Gounardes (Civil Service and Pensions)
  • Provide that legislation implementing collective bargaining agreements apply only to the bargaining unit: A8069 Abbate (Governmental Operations), S4900 Gounardes (Investigations and Government Operations)
  • Guarantee public service retirees health care benefits available upon retirement unless there is an equivalent change for active employees: S5030 Lanza (Civil Service and Pensions)
  • Support the State Comptroller as Sole Trustee of the Pension Fund, and oppose legislation that would diminish that role.
  • Require 45-day notice before a locality may change provisions of retirees’ health care plan: A4099 Abinanti (Governmental Employees). S7074 Breslin (Local Government)

Click to read RPEA’s 2022 Joint Fiscal Committee Testimony.

Issues Raised at the 2022 Budget Hearing

  • Increase pension COLA, now that the Pension Fund is nearly 100% funded
  •  NYSHIP
    • Equal access to skilled nursing facilities for Medicare enrollees
    • Authorize Part D IRMAA reimbursement
  • Increase Survivors Benefit
  • Reimbursement of raises previously withheld from Management/Confidential employees who are now retired

RPEA Testimony at Prior Legislative Hearings

Joint Legislative Fiscal Committees: February 2, 2021: Click Here to Watch Testimony.

Joint Legislative Fiscal Committees: February 5, 2020: Click Here to Watch Testimony.

Senate Finance Committee: Divesting the State Pension Fund from Fossil Fuels: April 30, 2019: Click Here to Read Testimony.

New York State Senate and Assembly: The New York Health Act: May 28, 2019: Click Here to Read Testimony.

Legislative Representative

Kevin Cleary Government Relations is our lobbyist. Kevin has 36 years experience in the workings of state government.

Kevin will be collaborating with colleagues Tim Sheridan, David Langdon, and Katie Hohman on our issues. All have extensive legislative experience in the Capitol. Combined, they have more than 100 years in legislative/advocacy experience.

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