Provide Income 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.
- Reform the state COLA law to more accurately account for increases in inflation.
- 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. The current earnings threshold is $132,900.
- Increase the maximum allowable public service earnings for public service retirees under 65 who return to government service.
Preserve Access to Affordable Health Care Insurance
- Oppose any reductions in Medicare and Social Security
- Oppose all proposals which will reduce health insurance currently available to retirees.
- Assure that NYSHIP Medicare charges are reimbursed when public retiree is paying full premium contribution and Medicare is used for primary coverage.
- Guarantee NYSHIP contribution percentages for State retirees as of the date of retirement.
- Guarantee local government retirees health care benefits available upon retirement.
- Require 30-day notice before a locality may change provisions of a health care plan.
Protect the Integrity of the Public Service Pension System
- Support reform efforts to eliminate pension system abuse.
- Oppose elimination of defined benefit pension plans.
- Keep the State Comptroller as the Sole Trustee of the Common Retirement Fund.
- Oppose efforts to eliminate the pension contractual guarantee in the constitution.
Preserve Constitutional Rights
RPEA was one of the first organizations to oppose the 2017 ballot question regarding the convening of a constitutional convention. Voters agreed with us, as the proposal was overwhelmingly defeated.
Early polls showed public support for convening a Con Con. Additionally, many newspapers across the state endorsed the concept. Facing this uphill battle, RPEA stepped up our efforts to “get the word out”-with obvious success.
Beside numerous articles in our Newsletter and repeated stories in the e-news, RPEA also undertook many advocacy efforts to defeat the Con Con proposal, including taking a booth for all 13 days of the State Fair to disseminate information. More than 1 million people attended the Fair.
We also participated in nearly twenty forum/roundtable discussions across the state regarding the ballot question.
In addition to those activities, RPEA initiated a series of public outreach efforts including letters to the editor, articles, and informational pieces which appeared in the following newspapers/outlets:
- Wall Street Journal
- Albany Times Union
- Schenectady Gazette
- Syracuse Post Standard
- Buffalo News
- Watertown Daily Times
- White Plains Journal News
- Facebook and other Social Media
Other public education/outreach efforts included the distribution of:
- 16,000 Informational palm cards
- 4,000 Buttons
- 3,500 Question and Answer fact sheets
- 2,000 Copies of our “White Paper” against holding a Con Con
- 1,000 Lawn Signs
RPEA also partnered with other associations and unions in opposition to the ballot question. All of these efforts paid off with the resounding victory we were able to achieve.
RPEA seeks to preserve and maintain
adequate and affordable health insurance
coverage for every public retiree.
Improve Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs)
to enable retirees to combat inflation and
maintain their standard of living.
Survivors’ benefits should be kept current
We advocate for reforms to ensure
openness and accountability in order to
prevent abuse of public pension systems.