Lawrence Retirement Board

Retiree Page

Welcome to the retiree information area.

 

ANNUAL VERIFICATION STATEMENTS

PAYMENT SCHEDULE

INSURANCE INFORMATION

COLA or ANNUAL COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENTS

SOCIAL SECURITY AND THE WINDFALL ELIMINATION

OPTION C RETIREES AND “POP-UP”

RETIREE EMPLOYMENT RESTRICTIONS

Retiree 1099-R's - Please note if you became age 59 1/2 during 2016

Due to the IRS Private Letter Ruling and Determination Letter, superannuation (non disability) retirees who turned 59 1/2 during a calendar year will recieve 2 forms 1099-R for that calendar year. One will be created with a distribution code 2 (under age 59 1/2) one with a distribution code 7 (over age 59 1/2). All subsequent years your 1099R will show a distribution code 7.

ANNUAL VERIFICATION STATEMENTS

* Please note: Verification forms are sent out every 2 years. THE FORM WILL BE SENT WITH YOUR January 2019 PENSION CHECK/DIRECT DEPOSIT STUB. Forms must be returned immediately. Second notices will be sent out shortly after to individuals who have failed to comply. If necessary, we will stop direct deposits and hold checks in our office. Please realize that this is not an enjoyable part of our jobs. We care very deeply for each and every one of our retirees but are unfortunately bound by law to enforce the return of these forms. Please forgive the inconvenience, however, in the future, be more timely with the return of your form.

Annually every retiree and survivor receiving monthly benefits will receive an Annual verification statement or "THE SMALL COLORED SLIP OF PAPER". Each retiree/survivor must complete, sign and return this form to our offices promptly.

Failure to return the appropriately signed “ANNUAL VERIFICATION STATEMENT” will result in a suspension of retirement benefits.

Special arrangements may be made in cases where infirmities, illness, hospitalization or residential nursing home care prevents the retiree/survivor from providing a form. Please call (978) 620-3570 to make a request for special arrangements.

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PAYMENT SCHEDULE

Benefit payments are payable for the current month on the last business day of the month. We encourage all retirees to have their benefit payments direct deposited to a bank account. We cannot guarantee prompt mail delivery by the Postal Service.

Since direct deposit is available to all retirees/survivors and in consideration of the cost to stop payment and reissue delayed checks, the City Treasurers office will not replace a check for 10 business days following the last day of the month. If a delay in the receipt of a benefit check causes a financial hardship, retirees have the option of electing direct deposit.

TO ALL OUR CURRENT RETIREES We still ask that you give direct deposit a try. Each month there are at least 2 pension checks routed incorrectly and missing for a few days. Going direct deposit eliminates the waiting time for a replacement check and may avoid a $20.00 fee for a replacement. Currently you must wait 10 days for a replacement. WE WILL STILL MAIL YOU A STUB EACH MONTH......

2017 RETIREE MONTHLY PAYCHECK SCHEDULE

JANUARY   1/31

FEBRUARY   2/28

MARCH   3/31

APRIL  4/28

MAY   5/31

JUNE   6/30

JULY   7/31

AUGUST   8/31

SEPTEMBER   9/29

OCTOBER  10/31

NOVEMBER   11/30

DECEMBER   12/29

 

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INSURANCE INFORMATION

Judy PerkinsAlthough this office tries to work in conjunction with the benefit office, the role of the retirement board with health/life insurance is only to deduct the premiums. Health and Life insurances are benefits offered to retirees by the city. Any questions or changes must be made directly with the benefits Director, Jennifer Desroche. She can be reached via phone at (978) 620-3065, (mon-fri 8:30-1:00) mail to Personnel Department, City Hall, 200 Common Street, Lawrence, MA 01840 or e-mail JDesroche@cityoflawrence.com .

If you work for the Lawrence Housing Authority of the your insurance is through the State GIC program. Your changes or questions should be directed to Cuong Ly at the GIC at (617) 727-2310 ext. 806 for health and ext. 804 for life insurance. GIC web site is as follows : http://www.state.ma.us/gic/

Greater Lawrence Regional High School retirees should call JIll Walden at the Vocational School. (978) 686-0194 x 1029 JWalden@glts.net

Valley works / Department of Training and Development, please contact Beverly Stopyra (978) 725-7065 BStopyra@mvwib.org

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING REMINDERS

** Health Insurance Rates will be changing for City and LHA effective your 6/30/2017 pension check. Any questions need to be directed at GIC or your Benefits Coordinator (contacts listed above)

IMPORTANT HEALTH INSURANCE INFORMATION** GIC Rates will be changing effective your June pension check.

Group Insurance Commission has posted new rates to take effect 7/1/2017 (will be withheld from your June 2017 pension check)

GIC HEALTH FAIR SCHEDULE IS ON GIC WEBSITE

Click here for a link to the GIC website for Rate Changes Non Medicare/Survivor AND Click here for a link for Medicare

IMPORTANT HEALTH INSURANCE INFORMATION** If you are eligible to enroll in Medicare Part B, you must do so immediately. Any questions can be directed to the benefits department at 978 620-3065. If you do not enroll, the Group Insurance Commission may deny membership in their plan.

All forms must be returned to the Benefits Coordinator Jennifer DesRoche 200 Common Street, Lawrence MA 01840

ANNUAL OPEN ENROLLMENT - APRIL 5 – MAY 3 For Changes Effective July 1, 2017

The Group Insurance Commission (GIC) Health Insurance and the City’s Altus Dental Insurance has open enrollment beginning April 5, 2017 and will continue until May 3, 2017.  Completed enrollment forms must be turned into the Personnel Department’s Benefits Office no later than Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Please remember that the Altus Dental insurance is not through the GIC. Altus Dental benefits are independent of GIC through the City of Lawrence.

The GIC Health Insurance rates have changed, most have increased.

Websites: The majority of the health plans’ websites with provider listings for 7/1 will be available no later than April 1.  You should wait until then to check provider tiers.

Home Mailing: The GIC will be mailing on Wednesday (3/29) to all employees a notice about Annual Enrollment.

Health Fair: Health fairs, conducted by GIC, can be found by visiting: www.mass.gov/gic/healthfairs

GIC Municipal Website:  Additional information, including the municipal guides, monthly rates, and frequently answered questions (FAQs) can be found in http://www.mass.gov/anf/employee-insurance-and-retirement-benefits/benefit-enrollment/benefit-decision-guides/municipal-benefit-dec-guide/

Benefit Decision Guides: Benefit Decision Guide shipments will be shipped March 29 – April 3 and should arrive to our office within the next week. Once we received the guides, we will ensure we distributed them accordingly. Please take time to review the Benefit Decision Guide as there have important changes to all of the plans (see attached PDF version). These are some of the changes that are occurring this fiscal year: 

New Prescription Drug Fiscal Year Deductible:  There will be a new separate prescription drug deductible of $100 individual/$200 family for all health plans except Fallon Health Direct and Select.  Oral chemotherapy, preventive care medications covered under federal health care reform, and certain drugs used to treat opioid dependence will not be subject to copays or the deductible.

Fiscal Year Medical Deductible:  The fiscal year deductible will increase to $500 individual/$1000 family (regardless of family size).  For the Fallon Health Direct and Select plans, the deductible will increase to $550 individual/$1,100 family.

Health Plans Closed to New Members: Due to concerns about significant premium increases and spending beyond those premium rates, Fallon Health Select, Harvard Pilgrim Independence Plan, and Tufts Health Plan Navigator will be closed to new members:

Harvard Pilgrim Independence and Primary Choice Plans: The prescription drug formulary for these plans will change to a closed formulary similar to the other plans.  This means certain prescription drugs will be excluded from coverage, but will have alternatives available that are more cost effective.

Harvard Pilgrim Primary Choice, Harvard Pilgrim Independence Plan, Tufts Health Plan Navigator and Tufts Spirit: Physician office visit and hospital tiering will change to one based on provider group value instead of individual performance. This could affect your copays.  Contact the plan to see each of your  provider’s tiers for the office location you visit.   Also contact the plan to see which tier your hospital is in.

Harvard Pilgrim Independence Plan and Tufts Health Plan Navigator:  Will implement Primary Care Provider (PCP) tiering based on provider group value: $10 Tier 1/$20 Tier 2/$40 Tier 3.

 

RATE CHAGES FOR ALL UNITS OTHER THAN GLRVS WILL TAKE EFFECT IN YOUR JUNE 30TH, 2017 PENSION CHECK

City/Police/Fire/DTD

Group Insurance Commission has posted new rates to take effect 7/1/2017 (This will be withheld in your June 2017 pension check). The group insurance website is the best resourse for updates on your health insurance. Health insurance is a City of Lawrence Benefit. Although we try to update our website frequently, as a courtesy to our retirees, we may not have the most up to date insurance information. As always, please feel free to contact our office directly with any questions you may have.

Click here for a link to the GIC website for Rate Changes Non Medicare/Survivor AND Click here for a link for Medicare

IMPORTANT HEALTH INSURANCE INFORMATION** If you are eligible to enroll in Medicare Part B, you must do so immediately. Any questions can be directed to the benefits department at 978 620-3065. If you do not enroll, the Group Insurance Commission may deny membership in their plan.

RATE CHAGES FOR GLRVS WILL TAKE EFFECT IN YOUR AUGUST 31ST, 2017 PENSION CHECK for retirees CHANGING TO A SUPPLEMENTAL PLAN (Medicare Eligible Employees)

GIC WEB PAGE

 

Benefits Office 978 620-3065
GIC 617 727-2310

 

GIC WEB PAGECLICK HERE

* IF YOUR SPOUSE IS RECENTLY DECEASED, PLEASE CONTACT THE BENEFITS OFFICE TO ENSURE YOU ARE NOT PAYING FOR A FAMILY PLAN.

* THE CITY OFFERS MANY HEALTH PLANS. IF YOU FIND YOUR PLAN IS TOO EXPENSIVE, PLEASE CONTACT THE BENEFITS COORDINATOR TO SEE IF THERE IS A BETTER PLAN AVAILABLE TO SUIT YOUR FINANCES.

* ONCE YOU TURN AGE 75, YOUR BENEFICIARY IS NO LONGER ELIGIBLE TO COLLECT THE ADDITIONAL LIFE INSURANCE POLICY. IF YOUR DEDUCTION CONTINUES TO BE WITHHELD FROM YOUR CHECK FOR ADDITIONAL LIFE, PLEASE CONTACT BENEFITS IMMEDIATELY'

Once again, city benefits can be reached at (978) 620-3065.

The City of Lawrence now retains the GIC (Group Insurance Commission) as its health provider. The group insurance offers many different plans. ALL INQUIRIES CAN BE MADE TO THE CITY BENEFITS DIRECTOR, JENNIFER DESROCHE (978) 620-3065.

GIC WEB PAGECLICK HERE

Please Note: The City of Lawrence Dental is still with ALTUS DENTAL. They can be reached at 877-223-0588 or WWW.ALTUSDENTAL.COM

Greater Lawrence Regional High School retirees with insurance questions should call Jill Walden at the Vocational School. 978 686-0194 ext. 1029 or email jwalden@glts.net

Section 18 of Chapter 32B It is our understanding that the City Council has adopted this law. The city will be notifying you regarding what effect it will have on retirees and their health benefits and what you may need to do. Please Click on this link for more information about Section 18 of Chapter 32B.

Recent article from Mass Assoc. on Line.

 

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COLA or ANNUAL COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENTS

We are pleased to announce that at the meeting in March 2017, the board on a 3-2 vote, voted to approve a 3% Cost of Living Increase effective July 1, 2017 and payable July 31, 2017. This Cola is capped on the first $12,000.00 of your retirement allowance. The dates and cap amount are set by our governing body. 3% is the maximum cola allowed.

You must have retired on or before June 30 th, 2016 in order to be eligible to receive this COLA .

PLEASE NOTE: OUR CHECKS ARE SHOWING A "CUMULATIVE" TOTAL IN COLA... THE MAXIMUM COLA YOU WOULD HAVE COLLECTED IS $30.00 PER MONTH.

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SOCIAL SECURITY AND THE WINDFALL ELIMINATION PROVISION

Benefits received from Social Security may be offset by any pensions you receive from the City of Lawrence. The amount of offset is determined by Social Security. While you do not need to report Social Security benefits to us, you do need to report benefits received from us to Social Security. If you are subject to offset by Social Security, you must also report changes in benefits (i.e. COLA increases) to Social Security. Contact your local Social Security Office with questions regarding the offset. Information may be available at the Social Security Administration Web site under Windfall Elimination Provision: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ or http://www.ssa.gov/ .

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OPTION C RETIREES AND “POP-UP

If you chose an Option C to provide for your spouse and they have predeceased you, your pension will be considered a part of the conversion commonly referred to as the Option C “Pop-up”. Upon notification and a copy of your beneficiary's death certificate, you will thereafter be paid the full retirement allowance you would have received had you elected Option A at the time your retirement allowance became effective. Any cost-of-living increases that have been granted since your Option C retirement became effective will be reflected in your newly established Option A allowance. All payments will cease upon your death.

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RETIREE EMPLOYMENT RESTRICTIONS

As a Massachusetts Public Employment Retiree, there are restrictions on post-retirement employment for any and all Massachusetts Public Employers (including all cities, towns, public schools, fire/water or health districts, housing authorities, state agencies, state colleges and universities). Restrictions also apply to federal grant funded positions with a Massachusetts Public Employer.

Public sector employment for retirees is limited to both aggregate hours and earnings per calendar year. Hours of compensated work are limited to an aggregate of 960 hours per calendar year. Earnings are limited to the difference between your retirement allowance and the compensation paid for the position you retired from. For example, if the position you retired from currently pays $30,000 and your retirement allowance is $20,000, you are limited to the difference - $10,000 of earnings from public sector employment in a calendar year. ONCE YOU ARE RETIRED FOR A FULL YEAR, The following calendar year you can earn from the above calculation plus add an additional $15,000.00 per calendar year to the amount you are allowed to earn (part of pension reform)The rationale – as a public sector retiree, you cannot be compensated (from public funds) more than you would have received had you continued working in the position from which you retired. You, the retiree, are responsible for monitoring your aggregate hours and compensation from all public sector employment. You must cease all public employment when either limit is reached. If you exceed either limitation, you will be subject to reimbursement of all compensation in excess of limits or you must waive receipt of your retirement allowance for the period of re-employment with any public sector employer(s).

For regular “Superannuation” retirees (i.e. regular age/service based retirements) post-retirement employment in the private sector is not subject to restrictions.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION (CLICK HERE)

For “Disability” retirees all post-retirement earning including private sector earnings are subject to restrictions. Please contact the office to find out how much you may earn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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