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Focused Strictly on Retirees
Run by Retirees
Protect Retiree Benefits
Work to Improve Retiree Benefits
Mobilize Retirees (When Needed)
THIS MONTH’S HOT TOPICS
Health Care Benefit Alert
Update regarding Medicare Verification Forms included with Annual Benefits Open Enrollment confirmation packages:
If you previously provided Medicare Verification documents to the Benefits Center and you are receiving the Medicare premium rates and/or Retiree Medical Grant Part B reimbursement, nothing further is required at this time.
You are only required to provide a Medicare Verification Form and Supporting Documentation at this time if:
The deadline to provide the Medicare Verification Form and supporting documentation has been extended to January 31, 2017.
We hope this information is helpful to you and we will continue to work with the County until all of the transition issues are addressed. REAOC is committed to update this information as we gather new information from the County of Orange.
The 2017 Keith R. Concannon Scholarships
The Retired Employees Association of Orange County (REAOC) has implemented its scholarship program to recognize and support qualified students to obtain further skills and expertise at an accredited institution of higher learning. The deadline to apply for the 2017 scholarship is April 1, 2017.
OCERS and CalPERS and the Assumed Earnings Rate
As you may have read or seen on the news, CalPERS has lowered their Assumed Earnings Rate. In an article on the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) website they write: “In an overall effort to strengthen the long-term sustainability of what is the largest public employees’ retirement system in the country, the CalPERS Board of Administration approved a recommendation to gradually lower the “discount rate” during its December 21 meeting. Counties will recall that the discount rate is the percentage of expected returns on investments made by CalPERS. A lower discount rate means that employers, including counties, will be contributing more to the retirement fund over the next three years.”
The current discount rate is 7.5 percent. It will gradually decrease over the next three years to 7.365 percent for fiscal year 2018-19, 7.25 percent for fiscal year 2019-20, and 7.0 percent for fiscal year 2020-21.
The CEO of the Orange County Employees’ Retirement System (OCERS), Steve Delaney, wrote a press release that is posted on the OCERS’ website regarding any impact that may occur from this CalPERS move.
Opportunity to serve as a Grand Juror!
Every year the Superior Court of Orange County is required by law to empanel a 19-member Grand Jury to serve a one-year term. The Court is seeking qualified and capable individuals, like you, to serve the Orange County community in this unique role for the term that begins June 30, 2017.
This is a wonderful opportunity for O.C. retirees and REAOC members to get a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of local government agencies and recommend areas for improvement. The Grand Jury also decides on indictments for some criminal cases.
The current stipend for serving is $50/day as set by the O.C. Board of Supervisors. You will also be paid for your mileage. The Grand Jury meets at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.
The application deadline has been extended and is now February 1, 2017. You may read about this at www.ocgrandjury.org. or you can click below to obtain additional information.
WHAT’S IN THE NEWS – WEEK OF JANUARY 16, 2017
OC Supervisors may have aided informant document cover-up
In 2014 The Orange County Board of Supervisors routinely approved a Sheriff Department request to be permitted to destroy documents, according to the Orange County Register newspaper. State Senator John Moorlach, who was then a County Supervisor, has admitted he did not read the detail of what he voted to allow to be destroyed. (More)
Columnist – Moorlach wants to take pension reform back to the future
Columnist Steven Greenhut writes in this Orange County Register article about a conceptual legislative pension reform package that he says will be introduced by State Senator John Moorlach. Concepts include freezing pension COLA’s, reducing the number of safety workers who are eligible for safety pensions, and other ideas we have heard before. The column ends by acknowledging that such legislation would have a 1 in 1000 chance of passage. (More)
8 men own half the world’s wealth
This Associated Press story reports that a new analysis found that eight men, from Bill Gates to Michael Bloomberg, own as much wealth as 3.6 billion people, according to an analysis by Oxfam released Monday. The article goes on to report on the views of critics of such wealth concentration. (More)
Mendocino County retiree COLAs to be reduced
The Daily Journal web site carries this story reporting that the Mendocino County retirement system board voted 6-3 to change the geographical area that is the base for determining the level of inflation that has occurred. The change away from the San Francisco Bay area to the west region of the country will reportedly result in lower retiree COLAs. The immediate impact will be a 2.5% COLA instead of a Bay Area driven 3.%. (More)
Judge threatens jail in informant records tussle
The Orange County Register newspaper reports that Orange County Judge Goethals appears to have reached his limit in trying to find records within the Sheriff’s Department related to the on-going jailhouse informant scandal. He just said if anyone is found to have destroyed such records they will go to jail themselves. (More)
Bustamante sues for full retirement benefits
The Orange County Employees Retirement System (OCERS) Board of Directors reduced the pension of former public works manager Carlos Bustamante after his conviction of sex crimes at work, citing a state law that requires pension reductions for persons convicted of job related felonies. However according to this story in the Orange County Register newspaper he is now suing OCERS for full benefits. (More)
ABOUT OUR LUNCHEONS
REAOC luncheons are held for the purpose of bringing Orange County retirees together for an afternoon of camaraderie, entertainment, and information. Friends and family are always welcome! Each luncheon features a different theme, with door prizes, and special gifts. As an added bonus, there is a valuable Progressive Drawing. They also serve as a general meeting for the membership.
The Mile Square Park Banquet Facility located at 10401 Warner Ave., Fountain Valley, California, 92708. For directions, call the Mile Square Banquet Facility at (714) 962-5541 or see map below showing where the Facility is located. Please DO NOT call the Facility to make reservations. Reservations are made by sending in the reservation form in The Informer or by calling the REAOC office at (714) 840-3995.
Luncheons are held the 4th Wednesday of January, March, May and September, and on the first Wednesday of December at Noon. To ensure a parking spot please arrive by 11 a.m. Please carpool.
Luncheons for 2017 are listed below:
January 25 March 22 May 24 September 27 December 6
Please Note: Reservations by phone or mail for the January 25th luncheon must be at the REAOC office by Wednesday, January 18, 2017.
Cost for the luncheon is $17.00 per person. A reservation form is provided in The Informer (on the current Luncheon page), in the “Forms” section of the REAOC web site or you may email the REAOC office of your request (firstname.lastname@example.org).
HEMET CHAPTER LUNCHEONS
Luncheons in Hemet are held on the second Tuesday during the months of February, April, June, October and December. Attendees arrive around 11:30 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church located at 515 E. Kimball Avenue in Hemet and lunch is served between 11:45 and noontime. The cost is $9.50 per person. The Hemet Chapter would like new members and encourages all REAOC members who live in the area or within driving distance to join them for the luncheons.
REAOC’s Hemet Chapter will hold its next luncheon on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 11:30 AM at the First Presbyterian Church located at 515 E.Kimball in Hemet.
Make your reservation by calling Jeri Maupin at 951-672-4594 or Joyce Emery at 951-658-2549 by no later than February 2, 2017.
Luncheons for 201 are listed below:
February 14 April 11 June 13 October 10 December 12
MAP TO MILE SQUARE PARK
Below is a map showing the general location of the Mile Square Park Banquet Facility located at 10401 Warner Ave., Fountain Valley, California 92708.
If you need exact directions from your house you can go to MapQuest and click on “driving directions.”
HEALTH PLANS FOR 2017
If you have any questions regarding your health plan, please contact the County’s Employee Benefits section at (800) 858-7266.
Please click on the links below for the charts provided by the County for the 2017 Health Plan:
For information about the supplemental insurance including dental and vision coverage, please click on the link below.
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