Pension Office News | June 2015
NEW SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT RETIREMENTS
There are no retirements to report this month.
PENSION OFFICE NEWS
ALERT: Pension Advance Companies are aggressively targeting Washington Government and Military Retirees – Washington State government and military retirees have been targeted by salespeople and advertising from pension advance companies offering immediate lump sum loans in exchange for future pension payments.
Retirees who sign over their rights to their pensions will receive reduced pension payments for upwards of many years while paying back the money they borrowed.
The fees and transaction costs may be prohibitive, and the lump sum may be taxable. Additionally, some pension advance companies require the purchase of a life insurance policy so they can collect any money still owing after the retiree’s death.
It’s important to be aware that some salespeople can be aggressive or persuasive when trying to get retirees to sell the rights to their future pension benefits and, in some cases, there may be outright fraud. Retirees are advised to consult with an attorney or financial planner and carefully read the contract before signing.
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) is actively seeking out individuals who have signed up for such pension advances and would like to identify entities offering this product to Washington State retirees to ensure that the proper protections are being afford our retirees.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have issued an Investor Bulletin for consumers regarding pension income streams. Read the bulletin to learn more.
If you have questions about any of your DRS pension benefits, please contact DRS directly at 360-664-7000 or toll free at 800-547-6657. Or go online at www.drs.wa.gov and log in/sign up for your online account information. Links for the Investor Bulletin and other information can be found on the DRS website under “What’s New”.
IMPORTANT: H.R.711 is a bill introduced into the US House of Representatives to repeal the current Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP.) WEP is the 1986 law that reduced Social Security benefits for government pensioners. IF H.R.711 passes into law, it would calculate Social Security benefits for public employees just as all other workers – based on their Social Security contributions and work history. It is estimated that H.R.711 would increase current WEP effected Social Security recipients/retirees’ benefits up to one-third. Future retirees’ benefits, if WEP is repealed, could go up as much as one-half. So call your US House of Representative and Senator – Tell them to repeal WEP by supporting H.R.711
Care First Blue Shield (Care First,) a Blue Shield franchise on the East Coast has suffered a cyber-data attack. The Pension Office was informed by Premera that none of our members’ medical data was compromised.
ALERT: If you have trouble setting up the free 2-year credit/account monitoring service offered by Premera through Experian, as a result of the cyber-data attack, call the service line at 1-800-722-1471. The service rep will assist you with setting up an account. Also, you can go in person to the Premera Campus at 7001 220th St. SW, Bldg. #1, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043. A service rep will come out and meet with you to give assistance. The drop dead date to sign up for the free service is September 30, 2015.
Mark your calendars for the RAP picnic at the range on August 6, 2015, Thursday. Bocce ball prelims start around 10:00AM. Food will be served about noon.