Dear WSSRA Member:
There are several important updates you should be aware of:
· A Plan 1 COLA has passed the legislature and is awaiting approval from the governor.
· The WSSRA state convention has been rescheduled for October 5-7.
· The in-person help centers at the Department of Retirement Systems, State Healthcare Authority, and many federal officers are currently closed to the public.
PLAN 1 COLA
We are pleased to tell you that Engrossed House Bill (EHB) 1390 has passed the legislature. Governor Inslee is expected to sign the measure. If signed by the Governor, all PERS 1 & TRS 1 retirees will receive a Cost of Living Adjustment of 3% up to a maximum of $62.50 per month starting with their July pension check.
Please thank your legislators for their work. EHB 1390 passed both the House and Senate without opposition. Legislators prioritized you over many other groups this session, and it is appropriate to acknowledge their efforts. Legislator contact information is available here: https://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder
It has been painful to watch the coronavirus work its way through our communities. In an effort to keep WSSRA members healthy, WSSRA Executive Board members have voted to move the 2020 WSSRA Convention to October 5-7. The event will take place at the Pasco Red Lion. Those members wishing to attend the October Convention should contact unit presidents regarding registration procedures. Anyone who had registered for the June Convention will automatically have their registration cancelled. Additionally, the Pasco Red Lion Hotel has cancelled room reservations that were reserved from the WSSRA room block. We apologize for any inconvenience, but feel that this is a necessary step to preserve the health of our retirees.
DRS, HCA, AND FEDERAL OFFICE CLOSURES
The State Department of Retirement Systems, the Washington State Healthcare Authority, Social Security Offices, and Internal Revenue Services are temporarily closing their offices to the public. Phone and internet services are still available, including DRS and HCA webinars on retirement planning.
You can continue to reach DRS at 800.547.6657 or www.drs.wa.gov.
The Healthcare Authority is available at 1-800-200-1004 or www.hca.wa.gov.
The Social Security Office web address is ssa.gov.
The Internal Revenue Service is available at irs.gov.
As it stands now, the WSSRA office will be open during regular business hours (M-F 8:30 am to 4:30 pm) but with limited staff availability. Staff will be splitting time between on-site projects and home-based, online work. Email messages and voice mails will be regularly monitored.
Stay safe, stay well as we work through the coronavirus pandemic.
Alan Burke, Executive Director
Washington State School Retirees' Association