UPMA Retired- The Backbone of the UPMA

Click on this Link to the Federal Retirement Newsletter:

 

https://www.myfederalretirement.com/ira-contirbutions-secure-act/

 

The UPMA Fifth Annual National Convention

Congratulations Ohio, you built it…and they came. We hosted over 900 attendees at the UPMA National Convention at the Kalahari convention center and resort in the lakeside community of Sandusky Ohio. Postmasters, managers, retirees, their guests; spouses, children, and friends were here. By all accounts the Ohio Chapter’s presentation was a grand success.
    Our Chapter’s hard work and dedication was evident throughout the convention center. The behind-the-scenes preparations before, continuous efforts during, and wrap up at the convention’s conclusion were the culmination of two years of planning by Mari Beth Kirkland and Lou Stuckey with the support of 70 members and guests from Ohio.

While registration for the convention began Saturday morning, the three days prior to Monday’s official start were reserved for official meetings of the Executive Boards of the UPMA, UPMA retired and UPMA Auxiliary organizations. Break out sessions were held for Chapter Presidents, Secretary Treasurers, Editors, membership, Legislative and PAC chairpersons as well. There was even a session for the UPMA BRATS (Bringing Real Attributes to Society) the children in attendance.  
   In the evening our chapter scheduled classes in photography and fused glass jewelry. Members participated in a trivia night, took a sunset cruise, and were entertained by the dueling pianos of the Cleveland Keys.

Monday’s business session was highlighted by our Guest Speaker, Postmaster General of the United States Postal Service, Louis DeJoy. PMG DeJoy spoke to the issues of today’s Postal Service. While we are indeed the most powerful delivery network in the world, we are also burdened with 150 billion dollars of negative equity. His plan, “Delivery for America”, is a smart, intellectual, and forceful procedure to move forward into our future. PMG DeJoy stated he is committed to maintaining six-day delivery and the return to self-sustainability. Privatization is not a solution to the issues involving the postal service.
    In fact, he remarked that our competition should not be at our loading docks. We will rework the contracts with the competitive delivery services and capitalize on two day and next day delivery. We and we alone have the delivery network to do it. He believes that his plan is the operational solution to ensuring the United States Postal Service thrives.  
    PMG DeJoy opened the session to questions from the membership and continued to state that he is determined to optimize our service and maintain our workforce.

The four days of general sessions were devoted to the business of the UPMA, reports from officers, legislative teams, the Political Action Committee, and many others. There were awards for individual and chapter accomplishments as well as luncheons, dinners, a golf outing, and local tours. The convention culminated in the Grand Banquet Thursday evening. The evening concluded with a wonderful theme-oriented skit performed by your Ohio Chapter. Our convention co-chairs said goodbye to the membership and wished them safe journeys home.

The 2022 national convention will be held in St. Louis Missouri.

ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL CONVENTION: from President Retired Rodney 
I would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who participated in the 2021 UPMA National Convention. First to the Ohio chapter for hosting the convention. A really big thanks to Maribeth and Lou and the entire convention committee for all of the hard work that went into the planning of the convention. Big thanks to Dan, Gerri, Dave and Frank at the national office for all of their hard work for the convention. And of course, to all of the members both active and retired whose attendance made the convention a success. Without you, there would not be a convention.

 

URGENT CALL TO RISE TO THE WEP/GPO NEED: from Steve Vanderhoof:

It is urgent that we contact lawmakers today. The House Ways and Means Committee is considering repeal of WEP/GPO and they are asking for input from the public. We need our retirees that are affected by this law to send them an email to: WMdem.submission@mail.house.gov

 

Below is the letter that I sent. I am fighting for us all. Feel free to use any verbiage from my letter, and include details of how the law affects you or someone you know personally. Here is my letter sent to the email address above:

 

June 27, 2021

TO: The Honorable members of 

Ways and Means Committee

 

Please support the Social Security Fairness Act H.R. 82. The provisions of the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) are devastating to many of our members of United Postmasters and Managers of America (UPMA) that have retired. Also it matters to anyone that works in a position that has a pension system and does not pay Social Security (SS) on their earnings.  

 

I am the National Legislative Chair for UPMA, Retired. In that position our committee has been working on collecting stories from our members about the negative impact the WEP/GPO has had on their retirement income. Some of the stories are heart wrenching. We plan to share those stories with members of Congress and the Senate during our Legislative Summit in September 2021.

 

The GPO law is extremely unfair to widows and widowers that have a government pension. It effectively eliminates any of their survivor benefits if their pension is 2/3 of the amount they would be entitled to. I am sure Congress was not aware of the unintended consequences those provisions of law would have on pensioners.  

 

Several of the stories I have collected are about the same. The retired postmaster draws a small pension based on the small size of their office and the lower salary earned. Their spouse usually worked a job and paying SS at a significant earnings rate. So their household income during retirement was sufficient for them to live a comfortable very conservative lifestyle. Then normal tragedy strikes. They put their spouse into a nursing home for many months or years and that drains their life savings. Then the spouse passes away and they are denied any survivor benefits from SS. That sequence of events leaves them unable to afford to stay in their house and pay their bills. That is actually below the poverty level. That is so sad that this law has forced some to sell their house and move in with their children.  

 

There are many of our retirees that worked two jobs during their postal career. Although most jobs were part-time, they paid into SS system. Most of those folks do not even qualify for enough monthly payments to pay for their Medicare Plan B. So from their small pension they now have to pay to be covered for health insurance.  

 

I can give you a number of cases where someone did not work their whole life and gets their full survivor benefits under SS. How unfair that the person that worked two jobs for decades has a law that discriminates and reduces their benefits to zero? Totally unacceptable!

 

This letter is to represent those members as their legislative chair and not about me. My story is only one of the more fortunate, but the WEP law still reduces my SS benefits by 60 percent. I can live without that, although I consider it egregious discrimination of anyone that always worked a couple of jobs.  Several of us fall into the same category the same as me. I should draw $1351 in SS benefits, because I always worked a part-time job, owned a business and was a member of the National Guard during my career at the post office. Also I worked a full time job for 5 years after retirement from the USPS. So instead I draw $461 after Medicare Plan B is withheld. Not as much a reduction since I paid some years at the “significant earnings” rate.

 

Several of the responses I have received from our members’ say, “I guess Congress is waiting for us Civil Service Retirement (CSRS) pensioners to die off so they don’t have to fix this.” That is not accurate since other professions such as firefighters, teachers, and police officers are still under the oppressive terms of these laws. During one of my visits to the hill, I was speaking with our Congressman from Missouri and he did not know that his retirement was also affected by this law. He stated he did not feel that was fair as he paid into the system prior to his election as a Congressman. So some members of Congress may not know they are also in this group.  

 

I know it always comes down to where are we going to find the money and the added burden on our SS system will bankrupt it earlier than previously projected. As you are well aware, sooner or later that problem will have to be addressed since the SS trust fund money has been spent and left with IOU’s instead of dealing with it in a timely manner. So for the sake of our current older citizens, this needs immediate actions to repeal the WEP/GPO provisions of law.  I am begging you to support the Social Security Fairness Act, H.R. 82 for full repeal of WEP/GPO.  

 

Very Respectfully,

 

Steven Vanderhoof

National Legislative Chair

UPMA, Retired

 

3261 Fox Grape Street

Springfield, MO 65804-4973

660-886-0205

svanderhoof856@att.net

 

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