RPEC Weekly Newsflash, August 4, 2023
RPEC Featured on Mission Nonprofit
Each month, Thurston Community Media’s (TCMedia) Mission Nonprofit connects with local organizations and agencies that are making positive impacts in our communities. During the month of August, RPEC will be featured on Thurston Community Media’s Mission Nonprofit cable television show.
The show was recorded on July 31 and features RPEC President Clair Olivers and RPEC Political Action Committee Chair Bev Hermanson, who discuss items such as how to join, the benefits of membership, our proven legislative track record, and legislative issues currently facing RPEC members at state and federal levels.
Protecting Your Email & Avoiding Online Scams Webinar
RPEC is committed to helping our members wherever possible. This includes educating them on ways to protect their email from potential hacking or intrusion and avoiding various scams they may encounter through their email.
We will be hosting a one-hour-long educational webinar on Protecting Your Email & Avoiding Online Scams on Friday, September 8th from 1:00 pm -2:00 pm.
You need to register in advance through Zoom using the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvceqprTwoEtco79jvKTngyTZv-En5b-rb. Zoom will confirm your registration and send you a link to the meeting. We will send you a reminder link a day prior to the meeting as well.
We all encounter potential scams through email and seniors tend to be the more vulnerable population targeted by scammers. This webinar will provide the tools and knowledge to better secure your email, identify potential scams more easily, and reduce your chances of being scammed. We hope you will take an hour and join us!
Social Security Fairness Act Aims to End Unfair Public Pension Offsets
Security benefits are based on an individual’s earnings and paid according to a progressive formula. For working families with lower lifetime earnings, Social Security replaces a larger proportion of previous earnings than it would for higher income earners. But, the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) impose offsets, which unfairly penalize many public employees. The offsets rely on a formula that does not fully consider workers’ lifetime earnings. GPO-WEP offset formulas are enforced when a public employee is eligible for a pension from their work that is not covered (non-covered) by Social Security, but who also has worked in other employment where they earned Social Security benefits (covered). Both provisions were intended to adjust benefits for higher income earners but in practice severely harm lower-income and middle-class retirees and their survivors; the very people Social Security’s progressive benefit was designed to help.
AFSCME and RPEC support the Social Security Fairness Act (S. 1302, H.R. 82), introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL). The legislation would fully repeal both the GPO and WEP.
Congresswoman Marie Gluesenkamp Perez Meets with RPEC
On Wednesday, August 2, Congresswoman Marie Gluesenkamp Perez met with 84 members of RPEC, and other retiree organizations, to discuss threats to retirement security. The Congresswoman lives in rural Skamania County and was elected to represent Washington’s 3rd Congressional District in 2022.
Congresswoman Gluesenkamp Perez listened to concerns regarding Medicare Advantage plans defrauding the federal government, denying claims to retirees, and putting traditional Medicare at a competitive disadvantage. She also discussed the funding status of Social Security and her work on the upcoming reauthorization of the Farm Bill, which includes funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program.
Among those who joined RPEC members at the virtual event were members and representatives of Washington Education Association-Retired, American Federation of Teachers-Washington Retirees Chapter, Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action, Washington State Senior Citizens’ Lobby, National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, the Washington Federation of State Employees, and the Area Agency on Aging & Disabilities of Southwest Washington.
The event was the first installment in the RPEC Speakers Series, a program that allows members to engage with difference-makers, lawmakers, and experts across the country. Stay tuned for other Speakers Series events that are in the works.
RPEC Members-Only Benefits Webinar Recap
On Friday, July 28th, RPEC hosted a Member-Only Benefits Webinar where all benefits available to members were outlined in detail, elaborating on potential savings and how to access these benefits. Members in attendance were pleased with the wealth of information the webinar provided and leaders intend to use what they’ve learned to inform their chapter members on how to access benefits that include dental discounts with Bright Now! Dental, hearing discounts with Hear in America, and many more. The majority of RPEC’s member-only benefits are offered through AFSCME Advantage, AFSCME’s member-only benefits program.
Watch the webinar here: https://rpecwa.org/members-only-benefits-webinar/
Member-Only Benefits: https://rpecwa.org/member-only-benefits/
To utilize the benefits available through AFSCME Advantage, you need your AFSCME member number found on your AFSCME Member Card, which you should receive within a few months of joining RPEC. If you have not received your AFSCME Member Card in the mail, call the AFSCME Membership Services Hotline at (855) 237-2631 and inform them that you are a member of AFSCME Retirees Chapter 10 (RPEC) to request a card. If you recently joined RPEC, it is possible that AFSCME does not yet have you in their system with an assigned member number. If this is the case, contact RPEC Membership Coordinator Jakob Canup, your point of contact for member-only benefits: (360) 352-8262 ext. 106 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
State Treasurer Hosting Retirement Security Town Halls
State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti is hosting retirement security town halls across the state to raise awareness about challenges that current and future retirees face. These town halls will be an opportunity to share ideas and hear what work is on the horizon that could ensure that all Washingtonians have equitable access to long-term retirement security.
Joining Treasurer Pellicciotti will be guest panelists April Sims, President of the Washington State Labor Council; Aaron Keating, Managing Director at Economic Opportunity Institute; and Cathleen MacCaul, Advocacy Director at AARP Washington. Members of the public are invited to attend and participate in the conversations.
Please refer to our calendar page for more information about each event, including links to Zoom meetings, if available.
- August 10 – Healthcare Workgroup Meeting (3:30 pm)
- August 18 – Monthly Leadership Call (1:00 pm)
- August 21 – Senior Lobby (10:00 am)August 22 – Executive Board Meeting (10:45 am)
- August 24 – Healthcare Workgroup Meeting (3:30 pm)
- Sept. 1 – Monthly Legislative Update Call (2:00 pm)
- Sept. 4 – Council Office Closed, Labor Day
- Sept. 8 – Political Action Committee Meeting (10:00 am)
- Sept. 8 – Protecting Your Email & Avoiding Online Scams Webinar (1:00 pm)
- Sept. 14 – Healthcare Workgroup Meeting (3:30 pm)
- Sept. 15 – Monthly Leadership Call (1:00 pm)