PLEASE DONATE TO IRTA LEGAL DEFENSE FUND FOR PENSION LITIGATION
The LLRTA executive board members were approved at the November general membership meeting. The current board members are:
PRESIDENT: Don Davis
VICE PRESIDENT: Lynne Robinson
PAST PRESIDENT: Marge Deffenbaugh
TREASURER: Sandra Carlson
SECRETARY: Aleta Sunley
FINANCE: Sandra Carlson
LEGISLATION: Gil Deimel
MEMBERSHIP: Evelyn Deimel
FOUNDATION SERVICES: Marge Deffenbaugh
SCHOLARSHIP: Don Davis
Time to Join or Renew LLRTA Membership
To join or renew your annual membership or become a life member, click on the link below and fill out the membership form. You have three due options for dues. They are:
1. Annual membership -$25.00
2. Life membership - $150.00 (a one time payment or by installment payments of $35.00 the first year and $30.00 for the next four years)
Your membership form and check should be mail to:
Sandra Carlson, LLRTA Treasurer
Springfield, Illinois 62704
If you have any questions contact membership chairs, Evelyn Deimel, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lynne Robinson at email@example.com.
Saving Our Pensions
The law (SB 1) passed by the State legislature in the fall of 2013 would have reduced our COLA and our overall pension benefits by a considerable amount if it had not been declared unconstitutional in the Circuit Court.
The State of Illinois has appealed the decision to the Illinois Supreme Court which will hear the case for the first time mid-March 2015. At this time, it is not certain how long it will take the Supreme Court to reach its final decision. The Illinois Retired Teachers Association (IRTA) legal defense team is one of the best in the nation: the firm has expertise in constitutional law and experience to ensure that promised benefits will not be taken from the retired teachers.
In the meantime, the legal expenses continue to grow.
Because the Illinois Retired Teachers Association anticipated that the State of Illinois would attempt to reduce the pension benefits, it established the IRTA Legal Defense Fund in 2012. This fund must be maintained to pay not only for this court challenge but also for any future action(s) that the State Legislature might consider after the Illinois Supreme Court determines that SB 1, as enacted, is unconstitutional. Because of its current budget deficit, it is anticipated that the State of Illinois will continue to explore avenues to reduce teachers’ benefits. Statewide, retired teachers have responded generously with their financial support; IRTA extends its sincere thanks to all who have contributed to date.
Continued funding is dependent on the generous donations, large or small, of the Illinois retired teachers. However, IRTA suggests that annuitants donate a one-month pension increase that occurred as a result of the COLA this year. Note the illustration that follows.
Calculating the One-Month Pension Increase
Amount of Pension received on 1 February 2015
(-) minus Amount of Pension received on 1 January 2015
(=) equals Amount of the monthly increase as a result of the 3% COLA
A retired teacher with thirty (30) years of service who receives a pension of $50,000.00, the amount of the increase as a result the COLA is $1,500. Divide the $1,500 by twelve (12) months to determine the amount of the suggested donation: $125.00.
To insure that your contribution supports the efforts to Save Our Pensions, please follow these simple steps:
1. make the check payable to IRTA;
2. on the Memo line, write Legal Defense Fund;
3. send the donation to the address below or
4. donate on-line at www.irtaonline.org, (look under Events).
620 North Walnut Street
Springfield, Illinois 62702
Important Links to Explore
Below are some links that may be of interest to our members.
IRTA: Illinois Retired Teachers Association home https://www.irtaonline.org/
Voter Voice: IRTA (Illinois Retired Teachers Association) utilizes internet tools to launch and manage grassroot lobbying campaigns and other governmental affairs campaign. From time to time IRTA will need your help in contacting elected officials on important issues that affect retired educators. By signing up for Voter Voice you will be able to let your elected official know of your opinion on current legislative issues. This process takes only a few clicks of your mouse to complete.
Sign up for Voter Voice by going to the IRTA webpage
Information on the Windfall Elimination/Government Pension Offset
Medicare Advantage Silver Sneakers Program
The three Medicare Advantage plans, available to Medicare participants, contain an added benefit of health club membership. This “Silver Sneakers” program is available to Medicare Advantage participants at no additional charge. In essence, the health plans are paying for your membership.
In Sangamon County, the following health clubs participate – SNAP Fitness, Anytime Fitness and the Fit Club.
The new Medicare Advantage plans for TRIP members, age 65 and older, contain the Silver Sneakers program which provides members' health club membership (normally between $30-40 per month) at NO cost to the member.