RPEC Weekly NewsFlash, October 27, 2023
Get ready for PEBB Open Enrollment, November 1-30
PEBB Open Enrollment is open during the month of November, and RPEC has created an extensive online guide full of information regarding open enrollment and decisions you may be making regarding your healthcare plan. The guide’s primary feature is a three-part video series of a conversation with Tim Smolen, Program Manager of the Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA). This webinar series has been developed to specifically help RPEC members who earn their healthcare benefits from PEBB. The page also includes a link to the video presentation by Ellen Wolfhagen from the Health Care Authority on the Medicare plans offered by PEBB. The content is organized to help you better understand your choices among PEBB plans. The HCA-PEBB/RPEC 2023-2024 Open Enrollment Guide can be found at https://rpecwa.org/health-insurance-open-enrollment-2023-2024/.
Registration for 2024 Legislative Day Opens November 1
2024 will be here before we know it, and with it, the legislative session, starting on January 8. The RPEC/WEA-R Joint Legislative Day is set for January 22, 2024!
The day-long event begins at the Olympia Hotel at Capitol Lake where the Legislative Committee chairs from RPEC and WEA-R will lead trainings on how to speak with your legislators about issues that are important to retirees. You and other constituents from your legislative district will review your meeting schedule and materials to devise a game plan over a working lunch. From there, you will bus to the Capitol to meet with your legislators and urge them to support our shared legislative priorities.
Registration opens on November 1, 2023, and closes on January 3, 2024. For more information, visit https://rpecwa.org/2024-rpec-wea-retired-legislative-day/. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to meet face-to-face with your legislators and advocate with other public sector retirees to accomplish our goals.
DRS Seminar for RPEC Members
Please join us on November 3rd @ 1:00 PM for a webinar co-hosted by RPEC and Seth Miller, Retirement Readiness Director from the Department of Retirement Services (DRS). This is an opportunity to hear directly from an expert at DRS about topics relevant to you and your pension. DRS manages and administers pensions for our members in PERS, PSERS, SERS, and TRS. Whether you’re a new retiree, soon to be retired, or have been in retirement for quite some time, there will be relevant and valuable information for you.
Questions that will be addressed include:
- How is the COLA calculated and why a 3% cap?
- How does COLA Banking work?
- What are the 4 survivor options?
- How is a survivor different from a beneficiary?
- What is the breakdown of the Unfunded Actuarial Accrued Liability (UAAL) for PERS 1?
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. A reminder email with the meeting link will be sent a day prior to the meeting.
If you have any questions or are having difficulties getting registered, please contact RPEC Membership Coordinator Jakob Canup at (360) 852-8262 ext. 106 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
RPEC Attends Senior Lobby Fall Conference
On Thursday, October 19, RPEC members across the state attended the Washington State Senior Citizens’ Lobby Fall Conference. The virtual event examined many of the challenges that seniors face and provided information about programs intended to combat these challenges. The conference also explored new proposals and ideas to increase ease of life.
Speakers included Director of Financial Management David Schumacher, who spoke about the state budget and revenue, and Health Care Authority Senior Account Manager Ellen Wolfhagen, who spoke about potential changes to health insurance options for retirees who participate in the Public Employees Benefits Board. Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, State Senator Karen Keiser, and SEIU 775 Director of Public Affairs Madeleine Foutch also led a panel discussion on health care in Washington, and RPEC Associate Director Derek VanSpoor gave an update on the PEBB Stakeholders’ Medicare Coalition and the UMP Classic Medicare plan.
The event was broadcast live on TVW. A full recording can be found here. (hyperlink): https://tvw.org/video/washington-state-senior-citizens-lobby-fall-conference-2023101176/
Senior Lobby meets once a month. Information about upcoming meetings can be found here. (hyperlink): https://waseniorlobby.org/
The event was organized by Senior Lobby President Walt Bowen. Bowen is a retired DSHS employee and a member of RPEC Chapter 2. RPEC members Nancy Heley (Chapter 18) and Jeff Paulsen (Chapter 2) also serve on the Senior Lobby Executive Board.
Please refer to our calendar page for more information about each event, including links to Zoom meetings, if available.
- Nov. 1 – 2024 Legislative Day Registration Opens
- Nov. 3 – DRS Webinar (1:00 pm)
- Nov. 3 – Monthly Legislative Update Call (2:00 pm)
- Nov. 7 – Election Day
- Nov. 9 – Healthcare Workgroup (3:30 pm)
- Nov. 10 – Council Office Closed, Veterans Day (observance)
- Nov. 13 – Executive Board Meeting (9:00 am)
- Nov. 14 – Select Committee on Pension Policy Meeting (10:00 am)
- Nov. 20 – Senior Lobby (10:00 am)
- Nov. 22 – 24 – Council Office Closed, Thanksgiving
- Dec. 1 – Monthly Legislative Update Call (2:00 pm)