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RPEC Weekly Newsflash, September 29, 2023

RPEC Weekly Newsflash, September 29, 2023

DRS Hosting Seminar for RPEC Members

One of the perks of being a member of RPEC is the diversified partnerships and affiliations the organization has with other entities and organizations. These connections allow us to offer a variety of news, training, and support for our members. An upcoming opportunity for RPEC members is an upcoming seminar hosted by the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) in which they will address a variety of topics that are most relevant to current and soon-to-be retirees. DRS manages and administers pensions for our members in PERS, PSERS, SERS, and TRS.

Please join us on November 3rd @ 1:00 PM for an opportunity to hear directly from the experts about topics relevant to you and your pension. There will be a brief presentation given by an Administrator from DRS followed by a Q & A session. Whether you’re a new retiree, soon-to-be-retired, or have been retired for some time, there will be relevant and valuable information for you.

Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcrcumgqDkjEtSTFcGFh1SE3Ur15LsLERpK

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

RPEC Leaders Address Pressing Member Priorities in Washington D.C.

RPEC President Clair Olivers, Secretary Nancy Heley, and Associate Director Derek Van Spoor spent the week in Washington D.C. meeting with members of Washington State’s congressional delegation.  Tune into next week’s Newsflash for all the details about their meetings with lawmakers on the issues that matter most to you, such as healthcare affordability, Medicare, and Social Security.

The RPEC delegation met with health policy staff regarding key issues pertaining to the Uniform Medical Plan (UMP) Classic Medicare, and participated in the Day on the Hill event coordinated by AFSCME Retirees, which was held on September 28th in concert with the national annual meeting.

Pictured here is RPEC’s delegation for the AFSCME Retirees Day on the Hill event.  Pictured (left to right) President Clair Olivers, Secretary and Chair of the Legislative Committee Nancy Heley, and Associate Director Derek VanSpoor.

Get ready for PEBB Open Enrollment, November 1-30

The month of November is open enrollment. If you receive your benefits from the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB), November is your opportunity to switch plans if your current healthcare plan doesn’t suit your needs or if it is too expensive. With premium costs increasing for all plans, RPEC has worked with the Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) to produce a three-part recorded webinar series that will be available on the RPEC website next week to help RPEC members to better understand their choices among the PEBB plans.

BREAKING NEWS! – View Part 1 of the SHIBA Webinar here! Check it out!

Parts 2 and 3 will be recorded and available next week.  In addition to the three-part recorded webinar series that features SHIBA Director Tim Smolen and Matt Groshong (Chapter 3 president, chair of the RPEC Healthcare Workgroup), RPEC will also host a webinar with Ellen Wolfhagen of the Health Care Authority (HCA).  The webinar will be held from 10 AM-Noon on October 20th.  Registration details will be available in next week’s Newsflash.

Additionally, HCA will cover details about open enrollment in the PEBB October newsletter, which you will receive in the mail by mid- to late-October. HCA is also preparing website pages on open enrollment, which will be “live” on November 1st.

In addition to RPEC/SHIBA’s three-part recorded webinar series, the “live” webinar to be hosted by HCA for RPEC members on October 20th, and the resources available on the HCA website, HCA is also offering in-person benefits fairs. The proposed dates/locations include:

  • November 1: Vancouver and Spokane
  • November 2: Centralia and Cheney
  • November 3: Olympia/Lacey and Pullman
  • November 6: Bellingham and Pasco
  • November 7: Everett and Yakima
  • November 8: Shoreline/Seattle and Ellensburg
  • November 9: Tacoma/Lakewood
  • November 14: Port Angeles and Bremerton

Tune into next week’s Newsflash for more resources to help you make the best choice possible for you and your partner/spouse.

Washington State Senior Citizens Lobby Virtual Fall Conference

Registration is open now for the Washington State Senior Citizens Lobby (Senior Lobby) Fall Conference.  The virtual event, which will be held on October 19 from 9 AM to 4 PM, is an important gathering of senior advocacy organizations and policy experts.  The event will focus on issues such as long-term care staffing, senior demographics, the state budget, broadband access and help identify Senior Lobby’s priorities for the 2024 legislative session.

RPEC Executive Laurie Weidner and Government Affairs Coordinator Emmett Mills will represent the RPEC Council Office at the event.  RPEC members are also invited to attend, representing their chapters (at your chapter’s expense). The registration fee is $40.00 per attendee.  The registration deadline is Thursday, October 12.  Please contact your RPEC chapter president if you are interested in attending on your chapter’s behalf.

RPEC has a long and close relationship with Senior Lobby and is a sponsor of the Fall Conference.  Senior Lobby President Walt Bowen, Secretary Nancy Heley, and executive board member Jeff Paulson are all RPEC members, as are many others who regularly attend Senior Lobby meetings.  Senior Lobby and RPEC were both founded by Norm Schutt, who stepped down from the position of Executive Director of the Washington Federation of State Employees in the 1970s to focus on politically empowering seniors across the state.

More information about the event and instructions on how to register can be found here: https://waseniorlobby.org/invittion-to-2023-virtual-fall-conference-on-thursday-oct-19-2023/

Upcoming Events:

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

  • Oct. 6 – Legislative Committee Meeting (10:00 am)
  • Oct. 6 – Monthly Legislative Update Call (2:00 pm)
  • Oct. 12 – Healthcare Workgroup (3:30 pm)
  • Oct. 17 – Select Committee on Pension Policy Meeting (10:00 am)
  • Oct. 19 – Senior Lobby Fall Conference
  • Oct. 26 – Membership Committee Meeting (10:00 am)
  • Oct. 26 – Healthcare Workgroup Meeting (3:30 pm)
  • Nov. 1 – 2024 Legislative Day Registration Opens
  • Nov. 3 – Monthly Legislative Update Call (2:00 pm)

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