June 2011

Send a Message to your Legislator… Vote NO on HB 4701 & 4702!

House Bills 4701 & 4702 are moving quickly through the Legislature and will fundamentally change retirement for ALL STATE EMPLOYEES!

We cannot let them vote based on complex legislative language and dollar signs alone. They need to hear our voices and listen to our stories about how these bills will affect us, the citizens of their districts.

CO Paul Jensen of the I-Max Correctional Facility sent a message to his legislator and you need to too!

Please take just 1 minute of your time to make a call or send a letter. Speak your mind now or the chance to change the course of state employment will be lost.

DEFINED BENEFIT MEMBERS:

1.  Are being unfairly punished when OVERTIME under these bills will no longer count towards their pension calculations.
2.  The state has made decisions to not hire and instead run MANDATORY OVERTIME to save money… remind your legislators that “Mandatory” is not optional and that we should not be forced to work a dangerous job without it counting towards retirement.

DEFINED CONTRIBUTION MEMBERS:

1.  Health Care is eliminated for those hired after March 31, 1997, and instead a one time deposit (determined current value of earned benefits) is placed into an account for you to access upon retirement for health care needs. Once it’s depleted – you have nothing.
2.  For those employees with less than 4 years of service a measly $2,000 deposit will be made which can’t be accessed until age 65 with 10 yrs. service.
3.  If you leave state employment without actually retiring within 60 months of your eligibility point, you forfeit any earned benefits regardless of how many years you have in state service!

CO’s take on a job with extreme risks to life and limb knowing that if something goes wrong the state will provide coverage to take care of them and their families. These bills take away this protection leaving them to find their own health care when they may have job related pre-existing conditions or be disabled due to injury!

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off

Community Meeting – We Are The People

Discussing:

  • Foreclosures
  • Jobs
  • Moving the Economy forward

Food and drinks will be provided

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

House Bills Would Change Retirement and Retiree Health Care -updated

As reported in the June 3rd edition of the KYI, the Michigan House of Representatives has officially introduced HB 4701 and HB 4702 legislation intended to overhaul the State Employee Retirement Act and the Public Employee Retirement Health Care Funding Act beginning October 1st 2011.

Rep. Bill ROGERS (R-Brighton) volunteered to sponsor HB 4701 on behalf of Governor Rick Snyder telling a Lansing news outlet that he is very aware that unions may not be happy about the legislation “but if we predicated all of our legislation on who is going to scream and yell at us then we would never be able to get anything done”.

According to information obtained from the House Fiscal Agency, HB 4701 (introduced by Rep. Bill Rogers) and HB 4702 (introduced by Rep. Chuck Moss) would make the following changes to SERS benefits beginning October 1st, 2011:  (Please note: Supplemental “Covered” Employee retirement ages/criteria are not altered by HB 4701 or HB 4702.  However, the Supplemental is an addition to the Defined Benefit plan for those who work in covered positions.  This means that the language below that pertains to Defined Benefit members applies to those in the Supplemental as well.)

  • Eliminate the 3% employee contribution for retiree health care required of all Employees since 2010 and refund contributions to employees.
  • Require employees in the Defined Benefit (DB) plan to choose between remaining in the plan and contributing 4% of their compensation (base pay not including OT) toward the plan or freezing their pension benefit and continuing their future service under the Defined Contribution (DC) 401(k) plan.  Employees may choose to leave immediately and freeze their current time, choose to stay in the DB plan and pay the 4% until they reach 30 years of service and then switch to the DC plan, OR they may choose to continue to pay the 4% and stay in the DB plan indefinitely where their service time towards their pension will continue to accrue.
  • Allow the State Budget Director to waive the requirement that retirees suspend their pension if they are directly or indirectly reemployed by the State.
  • Eliminate retiree health insurance for employees in the DC plan hired after March 31, 1997, (excluding former DC employees with more than 10 years of service, who have retired and are currently receiving the health insurance benefit or those who transfer from the DB plan to the DC plan either in 1997 when it opened or through these bills).
  • Provide DC plan employees (other than those excluded above) a lump sum contribution into a health reimbursement account upon retirement from the State in lieu of retiree health insurance. For employees with more than 4 years of service, the amount would be calculated as described below. For those with fewer than 4 years of service or new employees, the amount would be $2,000.
  • Establish health reimbursement accounts for employees within the irrevocable health care trusts established in 2010 to receive and hold employer and employee contributions for retiree health benefits or reimbursement of medical expenses.
  • After October 1, 2011, exclude overtime pay from the definition of compensation, thereby excluding overtime pay from an employee’s pension calculation and compensation for the purposes of calculating employee contributions into the pension plan.  OT earned prior to October 1, 2011, will still count.

What this all means for MCO (Defined Benefit Members)?

If you are an employee under the State’s Defined Benefit/ Pension plan you would keep the health insurance plan already promised to you, however, you would be required to begin “voluntarily” paying 4 percent of your salary to the pension fund starting October 1st, 2011.

If you choose not to pay the 4 percent, you would have your service and compensation, for the purposes of calculating your pension, frozen as of September 30th, 2011, and would be immediately transferred to the DC 401K plan for the rest of your career.

What this all means for MCO (Defined Contribution Members)?

If you are an employee that was hired after 1997 and are currently a participant in the Defined Contribution (401K) retirement system you would be switched over to a health savings account created by HB 4702 and subject to the following benefit package.

If you are a current employee with less than four years of service you would receive a lump sum payment into a health saving account of $2,000 which would not be accessible until age 65 with 10 yrs of service.

If you are a current employee with more than four years of service, you would also receive a lump sum payment into a health saving account, however, your payment would be based on an actuarial calculation that uses your 2011 service time and would not be accessible until age 55 with 30 yrs of service or until age 60 with 10 yrs of service.

IMPORTANT: These bills do not guarantee any type of health care for state employees hired after March 31, 1997. The new age and service requirements dictate that any current employee (4+ yrs.) must stay in state service until age 55 with 30yrs of service or age 60 with 10 yrs to be eligible for the lump sum payout. For those with less than 4 years of service or new hires the 65 with 10 years service requirement must be met.  If for any reason, that current or future employee leaves state employment before achieving these milestones and fails to reach the requirement within 60 months (5 yrs), that individual forfeits any and all funds the state would have owed him/her.

Full copies of the legislation and analysis can be found through the links to the bills above.  Rep. Rogers’ office conducted their own House Bill 4701 OPEB Legislation Summary.  As did the House Fiscal Agency.

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off

Executive Board

Monthly meeting of the State Executive Board

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off

Executive Board Meeting

Monthly meeting of the State Executive Board

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off

Board Appeals

Monthly meeting for Grievance Appeals to the State Executive Board

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off

Board Appeals

Monthly meeting for Grievance Appeals to the State Executive Board

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off

Board Appeals

Monthly meeting for Grievance Appeals to the State Executive Board

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off

Grievance Committee

Bi-weekly Grievance Review Meeting

Contact:

Lori Iding
lori@mco-seiu.org
517-485-3310

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off

Grievance Committee

Bi-weekly Grievance Review Meeting

Contact:

Lori Iding
lori@mco-seiu.org
517-485-3310

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off