Tuesday, August 3, 2021

RPEC Legislative Priorities

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2021 RPEC Legislative Priorities

2021 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES

TOP TIER PRIORITIES

  • Be aggressive in maintaining and improving the financial integrity of the State retirement system:
  • Support full funding of employer contribution rates to pension plans as recommended by the State Actuary
  • Oppose efforts to create any new retirement plans for public employees that diminish benefit levels and/or compromise retirement security
  • Support only those modifications to retirement plans that do not threaten the financial integrity of the retirement system
  • Continue efforts to strengthen the role of active and retired DRS members in DRS governance
  • Ensure affordable PEBB Medicare benefit by increasing the state’s contribution to 50% of premium, push PEBB to contain cost increases to participants, and retain federal matching funds
  • Restore a permanent Plan 1 COLA
  • Support legislation that would propose an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Washington – through the mechanism of the State Legislature to ensure the integrity of public pensions as enforceable contracts
  • Protect and Expand Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

STATE PRIORITIES

Retirement

  • Be aggressive in maintaining and improving the financial integrity of the State retirement system:
  • Support full funding of employer contribution rates to pension plans as recommended by the State Actuary
  • Oppose efforts to create any new retirement plans for public employees that diminish benefit levels and/or compromise retirement security
  • Support only those modifications to retirement plans that do not threaten the financial integrity of the retirement system
  • Continue efforts to strengthen the role of active and retired DRS members in DRS governance
  • Restore a permanent Plan 1 COLA
  • Support legislation that would propose an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Washington – through the mechanism of the State Legislature to insure the integrity of public pensions as enforceable contracts
  • Advocate for retirement security, particularly defined benefit-style pensions for all Washingtonians
  • Work in coalition with groups advocating for legislation that improves access to affordable housing.
  • Work in coalition with groups seeking to correct the regressive nature of Washington’s tax code

Health Care

  • Ensure affordable PEBB Medicare benefit by increasing the state’s contribution to 50% of premium, push PEBB to contain cost increases to participants, and retain federal matching funds
  • Maintain retiree health insurance options through PEBB at affordable costs and adequate level of benefit for those who have access
  • Support the creation of a public option on the state health insurance exchange to create competitive and affordable rates
  • Create access to affordable health care for all retired public employees
  • Support and monitor the Office of the Insurance Commissioner in its regulation of Medicare supplement policies and rates to ensure quality plans are as affordable as possible
  • Work to improve benefits and maintain and expand access to Dental and Hearing coverage

Contracting Out/Privatization

  • Oppose efforts to privatize or contract out public services

FEDERAL PRIORITIES

Social Security and Medicare

  • Continue fight to protect Social Security from privatization
  • Protect and Expand Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
  • Support a Federal Government sponsored Universal Health Care Program
  • Work to pass legislation that eliminates the contribution cap to Social Security ($127,200 in 2017) and adopts the CPI-E to calculate the cost-of-living adjustments
  • Support the full implementation of the Older Americans Act
  • Pursue affordable long-term care options for retirees
  • Fight for the elimination of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) which unfairly diminishes the Social Security benefit of some public employees
  • Oppose any deferment, reduction or elimination to the payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare.

RPEC ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION

Continue to encourage RPEC member-volunteers to advance RPEC’s legislative agenda, support lobbying activities year around and to create relationships with their Legislators.

Approved by Convention: 9/23/20