RETIREE RAISE IN 2021 COLA PROJECTION 1.4%: info from Kiplinger
2021 Retiree COLAs Projection: 1.4% as of August 2020 The 2021 COLAs for Social Security, CSRS and FERS benefits are based on the increase in the average CPI-W between the 3rd quarter of 2019 (250.200) and the 3rd quarter of 2020 (TBA). Based on the August 2020 CPI-W , CSRS and FERS COLAs are currently projected to be 1.4%. The 2021 retiree COLA calculation will be finalized in October 2020 with the release of the CPI-W for September 2020. CSRS annuities receive full COLAs; COLAs for FERS annuities are payable for retirees 62 and older and may be reduced by up to one percentage point from the increase in the CPI.
FERS COLA VS CSRS COLA:info from OPM
For Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) or FERS Special benefits, if the increase in the CPI is 2 percent or less, the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) is equal to the CPI increase. ... If the CPI increase is more than 3 percent, the adjustment is 1 percent less than the CPI increase.
AND WHILE WE ARE TALKING $$$$$$....
Make the most of this "hunkered-down" time! If you are enrolled in Medicare Part A and B, and haven't already done it, this is the time to submit the reimbursement form to receive the refund for Medicare premiums you have paid in 2020? Several Federal Employee Health Benefit providers offer the reimbursement, so it is important to check with your insurance provider.
SO, WHICH OPTION DO YOU HAVE?
Until age 65, most of us selected Standard Option. However, once enrolled in Medicare Part B, Standard Option is no longer needed. While many switched to Basic Option during open season, some of us just don't remember. Here is the list of FEHB BCBS enrollment codes. Your enrollment code is printed on the front of your BCBS insurance card. The Medicare reimbursement is only available with BASIC Coverage, which is the least costly premium of the options.
Enrollment codes for BCBS:
104 Standard Option - Self Only
106 Standard Option - Self Plus One
105 Standard Option - Self and Family
111 Basic Option - Self Only
113 Basic Option - Self Plus One
112 Basic Option - Self and Family
WILL BCBS DISCUSS STANDARD VS. BASIC REGARDING MEDICARE?
For those considering switching FEHP BCBS coverage from Standard to Basic once you are Medicare eligible, but wish to confirm specific coverage, here is the contact info depending on what state you are in. Just open the link, click on your state, look for the FEP tab, click on I am interested in FEP.... And find tons of info plus contact numbers! https://www.fepblue.org/contact-us
WHEN IS OPEN SEASON FOR 2021?
This year's open season will run from November 9 through December 14. However, OPM typically announces the next year's premium
rates under FEDVIP and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program in late September or early October. Although many people could save money by comparing current plan with others offered, only about 6% of the eligible actually change plans. Retirees and older workers tend to stay in the same plans year after year whereas younger, healthier workers are more likely to jump from plan to plan looking for the best deal, at the lowest price to them. As a result many of the oldest, least healthy people in the program are clustered in a couple of plans which, while providing excellent coverage, simply cost too much. Many workers and retirees could shift to lower priced plans and save money while getting similar if not almost identical coverage. Is it time to "shop around?"
Ted Gedeon 08/15/2020
I am forwarding a copy of an article in FEDWeek, a newsletter published daily with information for Federal employees and retirees. The article spells out the circumstances facing the Postal Service in funding its operations and retirees health benefits and some of the options that could happen to our health benefits. Let me remind you that currently the USPS pays aprox. 75% of the premiums for our health benefits. If the USPS were privatized or allowed to fail, our premiums would more than triple. If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to call your congresspersons office and voice your displeasure about how the postal service is being allowed to flounder by congress, the new PMG and the Executive Branch. They need to hear our displeasure with what’s happening. The article is written by Jonathan Foley of Wescott Partners LLC.
please open the following link
ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR UPMA RETIRED NATIONAL OFFICE:
The UPMA Retired National Election Policy states in Item 2: "The period of official announcement for the position of National President, National Vice President, National Secretary and National Treasurer shall be no earlier than the last meeting of UPMA Retired at the National Convention preceding the convention at which the election shall take place." According to UPMA Retired Bylaws, Article 5, the President and Vice President will be elected in odd years. President Rodney announced in the July 16 edition of UPMA Gold that August 3 would have been the date of our last business session in St. Louis, therefore, the Retiree Board has set Monday, August 3rd as the first official date to announce if you are interested in running for president or vice president to be elected in 2021.
Dear UPMA Retiree,
Hope this email finds you healthy and safe. The UPMA State Convention was held July 18 and 19th in Columbus. Our retiree meeting was held as usual during Convention. It was sad to see such a small crowd this year but totally understandable with COVID-19. For those of us that attended, face masks and all, it was nice to see everyone.
During our meeting we had a discussion about whether or not we should hold the annual Fall Luncheon due to the COVID-19. As much as we enjoy this event it was voted to cancel this year's 2020 Fall Luncheon at the Der Dutchman restaurant in Plain City. We have already reserved next year's Luncheon for the first Wednesday in October as usual. So mark your calendar for October 6, 2021 to be at the, Der Dutchman in Plain City.
I want to thank those that were in attendance at the Convention to allow me to continue another term as your Secretary/Treasurer.
Again I hope all of you are healthy and safe!
UPMA Retired and Friends, 6/19/2020
There seems to be a lot of confusion about this year's national convention and retirees participation in it so let me make a few comments. Since the Covid 19 pandemic began President Dan and I have been in almost constant communication concerning the national convention and the safety of our members. A lot of factors went into decisions that were made. UPMA had the entire Marriott Hotel reserved for the entire week of our convention. If we had just cancelled the convention the cancellation fee for their loss of income would have been in excess of $477,000.00. However the virus changed everyone's plans. The hotel negotiated with us for a date in 2022, a business meeting in October and a cancellation fee of $30,000.00. We are the ones who requested to change our plans and the hotel did have time and money invested in planning this year's convention which is only right that they be compensated for. Another point that everyone needs to remember is that President Heins did not make these decisions, the national executive board voted for everything that was done so any criticism of him is way off base. President Heins did not create this mess, he just inherited it.
Since this all started your retiree executive board has met by telecom every two weeks and for over a month we have met at least every week. We have looked at all of the issues related to retirees participation and their safety and welfare at the national convention. If the social distancing measures remained in place there would be no luncheon, banquet, hospitality room and possibly not enough seats in the meeting room for everyone. The retirees had no bylaw changes submitted, there will be no time and place voting this year, no proposed dues changes to vote on either. All that retirees would do is vote for a secretary and treasurer. Our retiree bylaws state that officers will serve for two years OR until their replacement is elected so it will be business as usual until their replacements are elected. Over 20 retirees contacted me before any decisions were made and were in favor of cancelling retiree attendance at this year's convention. Also, over 30 had requested a refund of registration so that's over 50 retirees who expressed their opinion. Remember, retirees are the high risk group.
Decisions had to be made by the national board and the retiree board well in advance of August 1st so that members could make plans for plane reservations and arrangements that just can't wait until the last minute. We didn't know if tours would run, if restaurants would be open or if local places of interest would be open. With so much uncertainty and with the virus still out there the decisions were made to scale way back on the convention and eliminate retiree participation, mainly out of concern for your health and safety. If we have erred, it was on the side of your safety .
I hope that everyone stays safe and I look forward to seeing you as soon as possible.
Rodney Boland, President UPMA Retired
Click on this Link to the Federal Retirement Newsletter:
Retiree report from the 2020 Legislative Summit
LEGISLATIVE SUMMIT RETIREE MEETING: notes from Linda Carter
National President UPMA Retired Rodney Boland led an informal retiree meeting on Sunday afternoon. Highlights included:
- No issues affecting Retirees at the Active Executive Board meeting.
- Membership: Overall membership in Actives remains stable, however worth noting is that Supervisors membership is growing; Postmasters membership is decreasing.
- Retiree membership is declining. 8992 in February 2020, down from 9559 in February 2019.
- Recently retired list helpful in Gold. Will request from Frank Augustosky at UPMA.
- Request assistance from Chapter Presidents about who is getting ready to retire; contact prospective retiree before he/she leaves office.
- Proposed Bylaw changes should be sent to Louise Nix.
- Discussed entertainment at Retiree luncheon at National Convention.
- Scholarship application is on website. 145 applications in 2019; gave only 9 based on funds raised. Need to initiate ways to raise more funds.
- Invitation to SOC in October. Registration goes up March 1.
- Brainstormed ideas to consider, ie: Health Benefits booklet before open season, Medicare training, Travel Planner for retirees,
UPMA RETIRED DUES INCREASE: from UPMA RetiredPresident Rodney Boland
UPMA membership dues are determined by the National Bylaws, UPMA. The National Bylaws, Article 1, Section 2 addresses dues for Active members; Article 1 Section 3 addresses dues for Retired, Postmaster Relief and Associate Members. It reads: "The annual membership dues for UPMA Retired, Postmaster Relief and Associate Members shall be sixty dollars ($60). These dues will increase by the same percentage as the cost-of-living allowance (COLA) increases equal to the amount of annuity adjustments as issued by OPM. The UPMA Retired and Associate members are eligible to vote on changes to this section." (Bylaws are posted on website at www.unitedpma.org. )
The COLA increase issued by OPM for 2020 is 1.6 percent; therefore, Retired/Postmaster Relief/Associate member dues will increase 1.6% of current dues, $60 annually. This equates to an increase of 96 cents annually, or 8 cents per month, effective January 2020. This will be the first dues increase since UPMA began in 2016.
At the national convention two years ago retirees voted to have a dues increase every time that our cost of living adjustment went up. That way we would never have to vote on this issue again. Although there was a COLA increase the last two years, the dues increase was not implemented because the national executive board voted not to do it. It turns out that the national executive board can't suspend the increase since it is called for in the by-laws. Therefore, the required increase will take place in 2020. 12/20/19
From incoming UPMA Retired President Rodney Boland 11/1/2019
Greetings to my friends of UPMA Retired!
As the old year comes to an end, a New Year begins. The questions that we all wonder about are what does the New Year hold in store and where do we go from here? I think that we are doing quite well to only be three years old. However, we still have lots of room for improvement.
My priorities are to always keep the membership informed, really push membership to a new level and always keep an eye open for issues that would adversely affect our organization and its members. Communication is essential so that members will be informed, will feel like a valuable part of the organization and hopefully want to be involved. Membership is the life blood of any organization. The executive board, along with the membership committee, will always be implementing new ideas to increase the retention of retiring postmasters and managers. And hopefully, through constant communication, members will be motivated to take an active part in the political process to protect the benefits that we often take for granted. All of this you will hear more about as the New Year gets underway
I have never been content to sit on the sidelines and watch so I guess it was only natural that I would get involved in the postmaster organizations. I hope to be involved for a long time to come and that we can all work together so that UPMA Retired will grow and prosper.
I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving and a very blessed Christmas.
Rodney T. Boland