The TRB has extended all insurance through 2021. The corresponding chart illustrates the cost of the Medicare Supplement (MS) and the Medicare Advantage (MA) plans for 2020 and 2021. Co-pays will remain the same.
As you may know, the Connecticut Capitol building closed on March 11 and Legislators were not allowed to return before the Constitutional adjournment date of May 6. The General Assembly and Senate have held no meetings or hearings in the capitol since then.
A Special Session of the Legislature may be called to address necessary action regarding adjustments to the state budget and/or public health legislation in response to the pandemic.
ARTC lobbyist Kevin Graff reports, “It is widely accepted that the Coronavirus will cause a major state budget deficit — between lost income tax revenue as a result of high unemployment and lower sales tax revenue due to retail and restaurant closures. In addition, consider the fact that our tribal casinos have been closed. The state is receiving nothing for their share of the slot machine revenues. For every month the casinos are closed, the state loses many millions of dollars.
Our goal is to make sure that when the time comes for addressing the state budget, key legislators and executive branch of officials will know our priorities and do their best to advocate for retired teachers.”
Vacancies on the Teacher Retirement Board
The TRB has announced that Kathleen Holt, Associate Director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy, has been appointed to fill one of the vacancies on the TRB. Ms. Holt was scheduled to be the guest speaker at our April breakfast which was cancelled due to Covid 19. We hope to have her speak when it is safe to reschedule. The ARTC is asking Governor Lamont to fill one of the remaining vacancies with a retired teacher. SFCRTA also endorses this position.
There is still at least one vacancy among the five public members that are appointed by the Governor. If you know someone from Fairfield County who might be interested, and would be an advocate for retired teachers, please email Rick Follman at email@example.com.
Some of our members have been making donations to SFCRTA in addition to their membership fee, so we sought clarification from the IRS as to whether donations were tax deductible. There response was: “Donors can deduct contributions that they make to you.”
Please be aware that under the CARES Act enacted this year, those of us who have been taking the annual Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) will not have to do so for the 2020 tax year. These distributions from your IRAs or 403bs (qualified plans) are fully taxable. This is only for the year 2020. In 2021 the RMD is mandatory, depending on your age. Talk to your tax preparer about what is best for you.
Survey From SFCRTA
Are you considering moving from Connecticut because of the heavy tax burden placed on retirees, especially teachers? SFCRTA would like to start compiling data on this issue. If you are considering a move, even if you haven’t made a final decision, please take moment to email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our membership goes from – January to December. If you are newly retired, join now and 2021 membership will be included. Remember: Numbers matter and we still face many important issues regarding our pension and health insurance.
Be careful. Stay safe.
Frank Cooper, President
Why did I join SFCRTA?
Because the late John Kane, previous president of SFCRTA, encouraged me to get involved. As a retiree from Greenwich, I receive life membership in GEA/NEA/CEA, who also does good work for retired teachers. However, it was the personal outreach by John Kane that got me here.
Why do I stay active in SFCRTA?
- Working with this Executive Committee is an enjoyable experience
- Helping other people makes me feel productive
- Supporting the efforts of SFCRTA is important to me.
Those efforts include:
- Keeping people informed about what is happening at the State level that can impact my life (pension benefits, health insurance, social security)
- Being a strong voice for retired teachers. We don’t have collective bargaining for our group; it feels like we have collective begging. SFCRTA and ARTC speak to the legislators to educate them about our issues.
- Providing assistance to those teachers who are in financial straights (Henry Barnard Fund)
- Providing scholarships for potential future teachers ( Glen Moon Scholarship Fund)
- Providing an opportunity for retired teachers to gather, socialize and learn from speakers and each other.
What can you do to help SFCRTA help you?
Reach out to newly retired teachers from your teaching town (or any of our seven towns) and invite them to attend an event, or encourage those who are not members to join. It doesn’t matter where in Connecticut or in the United States they live. My main reason for joining was the advice/urging of another member; you can do the same for someone else. At $15, it’s one of the best bargains they’ll find. When Frank Cooper, Rick Follman, or any of us speak to the TRB or to legislators in Hartford, we are speaking for the largest group of retired teachers in Connecticut, currently about 1800. It makes an impression. There is strength in numbers.