We’re YOUR organization!
Focused Strictly on Retirees
Run by Retirees
Protect Retiree Benefits
Work to Improve Retiree Benefits
Mobilize Retirees (When Needed)
THIS MONTH’S HOT TOPICS
COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT
The Orange County Employees Retirement System (OCERS) Board unanimously approved the 2016 Cost of Living Adjustment as follows:
Adjust all applicable benefit allowances, effective April 1, 2016, in accordance with Government Code Section 31870.1, resulting from the 0.91% change in CPI, as follows:
For retirees/benefit recipients who began receiving benefits on or before April 1, 1971 through April 1, 1982, increase applicable benefit allowances by 3%, and reduce COLA banks by 2%.
For retirees benefit recipients who began receiving benefits between April 2, 1982 and April 1, 1983, increase applicable benefit allowances by 2%, and reduce COLA banks by 1%.
For retirees benefit recipients who began receiving benefits or will begin receiving benefits between April 2, 1983 and April 1, 2016, increase applicable benefit allowances by 1% with no reduction in COLA banks.
As a reminder, although this COLA is effective on April 1st, you will not see the increase until your May 1, 2016 pension check. This COLA increase should not be characterized as a raise, as it is instead an adjustment to maintain the purchasing power of retirees and to keep up with inflation. If you have any additional questions regarding the COLA, please contact OCERS at (714) 558-6200 or click on the link below for the OCERS’ website.
2016 STAR COLA APPROVED
The Board of Retirement unanimously approved the payment of the 2016 STAR COLA for eligible payees for the period of April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017. The OCERS Board approved payment of STAR COLA for the period April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017. STAR COLA stands for Supplemental Targeted Adjustment for Retirees, Cost of Living Adjustment.
The purpose is to restore purchasing power for retirees who have lost more than 20% of their purchasing power since retirement. The STAR COLA brings those individuals back to 80% of purchasing power. It applies to those who have been retired the longest – currently, those members who retired on or before April 1, 1980.
Click here for more information on STAR COLA.
BOARD WATCH COMMITTEE
Chair, Norma Roberts
The purpose of this committee is to protect retiree rights and benefits by reviewing Board of Supervisor’s (BOS) agendas and minutes and to listen to the BOS meetings in order to identify any items that might affect retiree rights or benefits or be of interest to REAOC. This committee is seeking volunteers to assist the REAOC Board by listening to the Board of Supervisors’ meetings to identify any topics of interest to retirees.
Committee Status: This committee currently needs a volunteer to serve on the committee.
|ELECTION WORKERS NEEDED|
|The Orange County Registrar of Voters needs more than 6,000 volunteers to assist with the various tasks that are required in conducting the upcoming June 7, 2016, Presidential Primary Election. Volunteers provide a valuable community service and contribute to supporting one of our most important freedoms in our democracy.
For information on the various Election Day volunteer opportunities, job descriptions, compensation and to sign up to serve on Election Day, visit the Registrar’s website at ocvote.com/volunteer.
GREAT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY
OneOC, a local nonprofit resource center is seeking volunteers. One of the programs is undergoing a rigorous initiative of engaging hundreds of volunteer mentors at local OC elementary and middle schools to help share information about college and how to get there. As high school dropout rates continue to increase and with over 50% of OC youth not completing the necessary coursework to be eligible to attend a four-year university, we want to change these statistics and give OC youth the support they need. We offer flexible schedules, selection of various locations, and program training.
If you are interested in this volunteer opportunity, please contact:
WHAT’S IN THE NEWS – WEEK OF APRIL 18, 2016
OC retiree, parent speaks highly of CalOPTIMA
Arlyn Buck, who is retired from the County of Orange, writes in the Voice of OC about her positive experience with CalOPTIMA in providing life-saving services for her adult daughter, Lillie. This is an informative story about the job of parenting and a search for health insurance coverage that led to CalOPTIMA. (More)
City of Stanton, in financial hole, keeps digging
There is an old saying – when you find yourself stuck in a hole, stop digging. In this OC Weekly article, the budget and financial history of the City of Stanton in Orange County is chronicled. The bottom line is that the city has been pursuing the acquisition of land and development of a large park while asking voters to increase taxes for law enforcement and fire services, claiming a shortage of funds. The article says the projected park cost has risen from $6 million to $24 million. The salaries of contract county law enforcement and fire services are mentioned as feeding the city’s financing problem. (More)
City of Westminster may go bankrupt as soon as 2018
According to this story in the Orange County Register the City of Westminster is continuing to draw down its reserves in order to maintain operations and money will run out in 2018 unless service level cuts are made and/or additional revenue is generated. The Mayor has scheduled a City Council discussion for May 11 about placing a 1% sales tax increase on the November ballot according to this story. (More)
Claim-Average OC firefighter earns $236,155 year
Former Orange County Tax Collector-Treasurer Chris Street has turned to writing about public employees and their retirement benefits after he left office following a court ruling that he breached his fiduciary duty as a bankruptcy trustee before he became a public office holder. (Source: Orange County Register – click to see article.) In this article he relays information from the California Policy Center that calculates that the average total compensation of Orange County Fire Authority firefighters is $236,155 a year. (More)
Almost half of state income tax is paid by top 1%
This article from the Sacramento Bee newspaper says that the wealthiest Californians paid almost half of the total state income taxes in 2014. The story emphasizes how important the top earners are to the California budget. (Editor’s Note: Unfortunately this story does not tell the reader how much one must earn to be in the top 1%.) (More)
Millennials, low income people forced out of OC
The Orange County Register newspaper reports that skyrocketing home prices and rental costs are prompting young people as well as low income – those with household incomes of $30,000 a year or less – to move out of Orange County. (Editor’s Note: Know anyone who has left California for quality of life or political issues? I do.) (More)
Public pensions doing better than reported
On April 11 The Hill web site published a paper from the Hoover Institute that painted a bleak picture for public pensions, saying they have a $3 trillion deficit. (Click to read the paper.) In this letter to The Hill the Executive Director of the Government Finance Officers Association takes exception, saying “The data show the vast majority of state and local public pensions are doing quite well in funding pension obligations. These are the plans that don’t make the headlines — but should.” (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 2016 are listed below:
January 27 March 23 May 25 September 28 December 7
Please Note: Reservations by phone or mail for the May 25th luncheon must be at the REAOC office by Wednesday, May 18, 2016.
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, April 19, 2016 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 April 12, 2016.
Luncheons for 2016 are listed below:
February 9 April 19 June 14 October 11 December 13
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.”
AVAILABLE HEALTH PLANS FOR 2016
The Open Enrollment Period for the 2016 health plans has ended. If you have any questions regarding your health plan, please contact the County’s Employee Benefit section at (866) 325-2345.
Please click on the links below for the charts provided by the County for the 2016 Health Plan rates:
For information about the supplemental insurance including dental and vision coverage, please click on the link below.
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