Newsletter – For Dec/Jan
Basically, for retirees, there wereminimal changes in the plans anddid not require any action on ourpart.
For our members in VEBA, ourcurrent plan covers until June 30,2010. We are looking forward tothe State Auditor’s report on VEBAand EUTF plans which is expectedto be ready for legislators beforethe next session. Early indicationsare favorable for VEBA. Yourleadership is working on compiling”talking points” that can be usedwhen speaking to legislators in ourefforts to have VEBA continue.
Start now. Let your local legislatorsknow what you like about theVEBA plan and how it hasbenefited you.
For our members in EUTF,although there were no changes inyour health plan this time, EUTF isalso anticipating the results of theState Audit. Because of the dismalforecast of our State’s revenue, ourlegislators will be looking atvarious ways to increase therevenue for the State. The State’scontribution to medical plans forretirees may be at risk. Stay alert.
A reminder again – please notifyme by phone or email wheneveryour mailing address, phonenumber or email address ischanged. In our last Phone Treeattempt to reach members, severalphone numbers and emailaddresses were “no longer inservice”. Even two of the mailednewsletters were returned as”undeliverable”.
Those of you who receive thenewsletter by email – please be sureto empty (delete) the In Box andTrash Box on a regular basis. Ifyour box capacity is FULL, youwill not be able to receive or openthe newsletter attachment.
Thank you and have a wonderfulholiday season.
Tidings” to all for a merry holiday season.
Recognizing the impact of the “Great Recession,” upon ERS finances, CFC recently sent a proposal affecting new hires only to your BOD for approval. It was subsequently approved to be among the priorities for the 2010 legislative session. Previous options for improving your PRA with additional new monies are being held in abeyance pending better economic times.
Albeit honorable, this was a tough call for CFC to make. Essentially the new proposal combines savings andcompounding by providing less PRA dollars during one’s early years in retirement and offering higher dollar amounts the longer one remains in retirement. Very important, it does connect PRA closer to inflation, but unfortunately keepsthe egregious, percent-of-pension formula as the base for all PRA. Hence, it’s still a beginning; but rest assured work will continue on best ways to get a foot in the door toward an improved, fairer PRA for all retirees. Mahalo.
Joe Tanaka, Chair
Furlough Friday programs. Call Rae @ 935-9301 or email email@example.com.”
levels the same, but keeping the 90/10 ratio made retiree benefits
better than for actives. To even it out, VEBA raised the co-pay for
hospital and surgical services. The State’s contribution does not
include funds for chiropractic services, however, the VEBA
Trustees voted to fund the Chiro Plan for its members. Members
are entitled to 20 visits per year to a Chiro Plan participant. Doctors
must file claims with Chiro Plan – NOT Medicare or HMSA.
Kaiser, HDS, Vision and Prescription Drug plans had no changes.
EUTF members do NOT have chiropractic coverage. Retirees were
not affected by any changes in their health plan for the coming
conference in Washington, D.C. We listened to a lot of
presentations, some of which were results of research and rather
technical in nature.
We are fortunate that Hawaii’s teachers, active and retired, are
members of a Defined Benefits (DB) pension plan. This is the
one Constitutional guaranteed benefit that we have. DB is tied to
cost effective ways to deal with declining global finances. DB
plans earn higher investment returns because they follow
diversified and long term investments. DB pension plans are
more important now than ever before because they weather
financial storms better. DB is a fiscally responsible way to reward service and allow workers to retire with
dignity and the respect they deserve.
Fewer employers in the private sector are offering pension plans. Between 1985 and 2008, there was anincrease in Defined Contribution (DC) plans. 401 K is the dominant DC plan today, but only 36% ofworkers participate. DC plans have “leakage” – workers cash out when they change jobs, withdraw fundsdue to hardships and default on loans.Other presentations covered the current hurdles the Health Care bill faces in the US Senate and factorsaffecting our Social Security Program in the future. At times it felt like “information overload”, but I didlearn a lot. Lorraine Hora
HOSPICE Light Up A Life campaign at Prince Kuhio Plaza. Our thanks to Bettye
Wakabayashi, Betty Ann Yoshimura, Roy and Laverne Daimaru, Lois and Jerri
Shimizu, Carole Tsutsumi, Corliss Yamaki, and Helen and Joe Tanaka. Julia and
Eugene Tao served as alternates.
Our next community service is for the Blood Bank of Hawaii on Monday, March 22,
HSTA-R will be hosting the refreshment table for blood donors from 8:00 am to 5:00
pm. We are asking members for donations of food items, cartons of juice, paper goods and
volunteer time of 2 hour shifts. Please contact Betty Ann Yoshimura @ 959-5106 if you can participate.
Here are some hints to help get you through this holiday season.
Keep food, especially snacks out of sight & out of reach
Buy & eat healthier foods…don’t shop when you’re hungry
Check labels & avoid foods w/ too much calories, fat, etc.
Substitute healthier ingredients in your cooking
Eat something light & healthy before going to a party
Take a healthy dish if it’s potluck or water/diet drinks if BYOD
Stay away from the food table to help resist temptation
Downsize…smaller plate, cup, utensils, even portions
Avoid loose clothes to help curb overeating
Keep track of what you eat to help control the amount & variety to
help you maintain a balanced diet
Exercise…after a festive meal, walking is great !!!
Celebrate, but remember…moderation is the key. Eat & drink wisely for
a Healthier You. Here’s wishing You a Most Joyous Holiday Season with Family &
Friends and a New Year filled with Good Health, Wealth, Love and Happiness.
Hilo and HSTA-R
participated in the Big Island
Labor Alliance annual Food
October 16 at Hilo High
School, Arleen Yoshimura
and Caroline Mizuno
presented a Pre-Retirement
Planning Workshop on
Teacher Institute Day.
September 21 at the Aging and
Disability Resource Center,
HOSPICE of Hilo presented a
workshop on Advanced Health Care
Y.Joe Tanaka (2)
Stephen Ono (2)
Bettye Wakabayashi (2)
Arleen Yoshimura (2)
Betty Ann Yoshimura (1)
Lois Shimizu (1)
Muriel Nishimoto (1)
Sharon Yanazaki (1)