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RPEC Weekly Newsflash, April 21, 2023

RPEC Weekly Newsflash, April 21, 2023

PERS 1/TRS 1 COLA Clears Legislature

Thanks to the tireless advocacy of retirees across the state, on April 19, 2023, the Washington State Legislature passed Senate Bill 5350, providing PERS 1 and TRS 1 retirees with a one-time 3% cost-of-living-adjustment not to exceed $110 per month.

Additionally, the bill directs the Select Committee on Pension Policy to study and recommend an annual PERS 1/TRS 1 COLA proposal to the full legislature. RPEC members are directly represented on the Select Committee on Pension Policy and will be heavily involved in the crafting of the ongoing COLA proposal.

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Plans 2 & 3 COLA Amounts Announced

The Washington State Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) has released the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) amounts for retirees in Plans 2 & 3 of PERS, SERS, TRS, and PSERS. As costs of groceries and housing skyrocket, these COLAs will provide retirees with some much-needed relief from inflation, but not as much relief as you might expect.

Annual COLA amounts are determined by annual inflation measured by the Seattle Consumer Price Index (CPI). However, COLA increases are limited to 3% in a single year. Even though the Seattle CPI currently measures 8.81% annual inflation, all Plans 2 & 3 retirees who retired prior to July 2, 2022, will receive 3% COLAs.

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2023 Leadership Training for Chapter Leaders Set for June

With most chapter elections underway, it is time for new leaders, current leaders and those who may be considering taking a leadership position in the future, to come together and participate in our annual Leadership Training. We will be providing the tools, information, and resources for you to be a successful and supported chapter leader.

The training will be held in two parts: Part A on Monday, June 26 for all chapter leaders, and Part B on Friday, June 30 for chapter leaders involved with finances. Part A will be hosted and led by the Council Office. Part B will be hosted and led by the Auditing Department at AFSCME.

For more information and to register, please visit: https://rpecwa.org/2023-leadership-training/

Register today for Health Care Authority’s Virtual and In-person Listening Sessions and Public Forums

Time is running out to register and take part in the virtual listening sessions, virtual public forums and the in-person listening sessions hosted by the Health Care Authority (HCA) to hear from public sector retirees who receive their healthcare benefits from the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB). Register at: https://www.hca.wa.gov/about-hca/news/announcements/register-pebb-medicare-listening-sessions. Registration is required and space is limited. Sign up today!

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All-member written survey – Please complete the survey and mail it back!

By late-April, all RPEC members will receive a written survey (with a postage-paid return envelope) via U.S. mail. The survey is one element of a multi-faceted data collection process that the Executive Board has launched to lay the foundation for the development of a new strategic plan for RPEC. Gleaning your insights and understanding the priorities and needs of our members is the first step in the strategic planning process. Please take the time to complete the survey when it arrives at your home and mail it back right away so that your input can be used to help shape the Board’s priorities.

Upcoming Events:

Please refer to our calendar page for more information about each event, including links to Zoom meetings, if available.

  • April 21 – Legislative Update Call (2:00 pm)
  • April 23 – Sine Die (End of Legislative Session)
  • April 25 – Membership Committee Meeting (10:00 am)
  • April 27 – Healthcare Workgroup (3:30 pm)
  • April 28 – Political Action Committee Meeting (10:00 am)
  • May 4 – Pension Policy Workgroup (10:00 am)
  • May 5 – Legislative Committee Meeting (10:00 am)
  • May 11 – Healthcare Workgroup (3:30 pm)
  • May 15 – Senior Lobby (10:00 am)
  • May 16 – Select Committee on Pension Policy Meeting (10:00 am)
  • May 19 – Monthly Leadership Call (1:00 pm)

Health Care Authority Listening Sessions & Public Forums

  • April 25 – HCA Virtual Listening Session (10:00 am)
  • April 26 – HCA Virtual Public Forum (10:00 am)
  • April 27 – HCA Virtual Listening Session (10:00 am)
  • May 2 – HCA Virtual Listening Session (10:00 am)
  • May 4 – HCA Virtual Listening Session (10:00 am)
  • May 9 – HCA Virtual Listening Session (10:00 am)
  • May 10 – HCA Virtual Listening Session (10:00 am)
  • May 16 – HCA In-person Listening Session, Bothell (10:00 am)
  • May 17 – HCA Virtual Public Forum (10:00 am)
  • May 18 – HCA Virtual Listening Session (10:00 am)

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