Important Announcement
PubHTML5 Scheduled Server Maintenance on (GMT) Sunday, June 26th, 2:00 am - 8:00 am.
PubHTML5 site will be inoperative during the times indicated!

Home Explore v5.2021 Spring Newsletter

v5.2021 Spring Newsletter

Published by Central Western PSEA Retired, 2021-03-11 01:44:40

Description: v5.2021 Spring Newsletter


Read the Text Version

Central Western Region PSEA-R March 2021 Spring Newsletter Volume 7, Issue 1 What’s Happening Invitation Date: April 29, 2021 Time: 10:30 am How: Zoom Meeting You are invited to join our Executive Meetings and you don’t even have to RSVP: by April 28, 2021 leave the comforts of your home. We have been conducting business via Zoom Register Online since last March. Come join us and add your personal perspective & ideas for At our website: Spring Membership Meeting ( our organization. If you would like to receive notification of our meetings, please contact Barb Or by contacting Marcia Rettig-Seitam Lynch at 814-233-0503 or cwre- [email protected] to be included on (724) 954-5694 or [email protected] the email distribution list. Election of Officers Looking forward to having you on board. Since our Spring Membership Meeting has to be virtual, this presents a prob- lem regarding conducting the election of new Officers and County/ESP Rep- Looking Ahead resentatives, a business item that was to be on the agenda. All elections must be by secret ballot according to our Constitution/By-Laws; conducting a secret Apr. 29 Spring Luncheon ballot virtually is something that PSEA has yet to figure out how to accom- Membership Meeting plish and your Officers weren’t able to offer any suggestions. 10:30 am - 12 Noon We were presented with two options. First, conduct the elections at a special ZOOM meeting membership meeting held in person during this June. It would be wonderful if we could do that but all things considered, we doubted that in-person meet- ings would be approved by PSEA at that point. Our second option is to post- Spring Membership Meeting pone the election until the next in-person membership meeting is held. Mar. 25 Future Retiree Presentation We are very hopeful that in-person meetings will be taking place by the Fall 2021 6:30—8:00 pm 2021 Luncheon and Membership Meeting. At the Fall meeting, we are al- ZOOM meeting ready scheduled to be electing delegates to the PSEA State Houses between December 2021 and May 2023. Apr. 7 Future Retiree Presentation 2021 6:30—8:00 pm In order to postpone this Spring’s election, the current Officers and Coun- ZOOM meeting ty/ESP Representatives were asked if they would agree to continue to serve in their current positions until the next in-person membership meeting. All elect- Apr. 20 Future Retiree Presentation ed leaders have agreed to continue in their current positions. The list of cur- rent Officers and County/ESP Representatives is provided located on page 3. 2021 6:30—8:00 pm ZOOM meeting If it becomes necessary, in the interim period, to replace an officer or repre- sentative, the Executive Committee will do so. Members will be notified via Oct 4 HOP Presentation email of such openings should they wish to be considered as a replacement. 2021 Update for Retirees There is no plan to change committee chairs until the new slate of leaders has Fall Luncheon & Membership been elected. The newly elected President will have the privilege of picking Oct 2021 Meeting his/her own chairpersons. TBD Noon - 2:30 pm

Award for New Educators The Central-Western Region PSEA-Retired will be awarding $1,000 to provide financial support to a first- or second-year professional, holding an Instructional Certificate, who is either the child, grandchild, or great-grandchild of a current Central Western Region PSEA-Retired (CWR PSEA-R) member. As retired educators and school personnel, we wish to provide financial assistance, partic- ularly in support of new educator’s membership in PSEA, NEA, and their Local Association. Funds are to be used at the discretion of the recipient in ways that we hope will further their success in their new position. This could include their dues in the local association and other job-related expenses. We recog- nize that all new educators have expenses that represent a burden that has a greater impact on them than on their more senior peers whose additional years of service provide them with higher salaries. The application will be available on our website: You may also request a copy of the application by contacting: Art Aloise, Vice President, CWR PSEA-Retired at 134 Park Drive in Delmont, PA 15626-1232. or email [email protected] Application deadline is July 31, 2021. 814 Area Code Do you know someone who is 10 Digit Dialing—April 3 thinking about retiring? The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is introducing a It’s Never Too Late, Nor Too Early, new overlay area code of 582. It will serve alongside the existing 814-area code. And will begin to be assigned to new numbers on to Plan for Retirement. May 1. 814 is the only original PA area code that does not have at least one additional overlay area code. If you know someone who is thinking about retiring, please let them know of the upcoming three presenta- Existing 814 users will continue to use their 814 area code. tions sponsored by CW Region PSEA-Retired. They However, new numbers may be assigned the 582 area code, even have been designed for teachers and support profession- if they are located next door. als who are recently retired or planning to retire within the next three years. Residents and businesses should begin dialing the three-digit area code before the seven-digit phone number when placing The presentations will be on Zoom: March 25, April 7 any call. At this point it is not required but on April 3rd, it will and April 20 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. be mandatory. Otherwise, your calls won’t go through. Prior Registration Required It is recommended that all devices designed to make automatic So, You Want to Retire? ( calls should be checked that they have numbers installed in them that use the area code when dialing. This would include medical alert and alarm systems. It is also wide to check num- Focremntorraelwinefsotrrmetaitrieodn.,pvsiesaitloocuarlsw.oebrgsi.te: bers stored in your cell phone’s contact list or address book. Membership Numbers Central Western Region PSEA-Retired as of March 3, 2021 has 1,835 members. Of these, 1,470 members have their email addresses on file with PSEA. If you wish to receive emails from us, including our newsletter, and from PSEA, you can simply submit your email to Julie Waltman, Director of Financial Services. She can be reached by calling PSEA’s main phone number, (800) 944-7732. At this time last year, our membership stood at 1,833. You might be disappointed that there hasn’t been more growth in our ranks but considering the year we have had, your leaders are satisfied that we maintained the status quo, so to speak. Every year we lose members for a number of reasons, i.e. financial, death, relocation, etc. This year we believe that at least the first two reasons have played a bigger role than normal. Please accept the thanks of your Executive Committee for renewing your annual membership or for deciding right from the start to being a Life Member of PSEA-Retired! Page 2 Central Western Region PSEA-R

Member Benefits Spotlight Home and Auto Insurance Liberty Mutual has partnered with PSEA to offer members exclusive savings* on quality auto and home insurance. You could enjoy valuable and unique benefits, including Better Car Replacement™, Accident Forgiveness, Home Protector Plus™, and our Multi-Policy Discount. At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we're giving you something in return for everything you give to stu- dents. That's why we offer special auto insurance benefits for PSEA members** at no additional cost . Program Benefits  Zero deductible if your vehicle is vandalized on school property or during school-related events  If your personal teaching or school-owned property is stolen or damaged while in your vehicle, you're covered up to $2,500 per occurrence with a $50 deductible  $0 deductible if your vehicle is damaged in a collision while you're driving it on school and PSEA business$100 deductible applies in PA.)  10% discount on new and existing policies for Pennsylvania residents  Up to 10% discount on new and existing policies for all other states For more information: Central Western Retired Website Be sure to check out our website. The Central Western Retired website is full of in- formation you can use as a pre-retired member, recently retired member or an experi- enced retired member. Check it out! Executive Committee Term: July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021 Officers & County /ESP COUNTY /ESP COUNTY /ESP Open Position REPRESENTATIVES: Trips & Travel Reps are Elected for Two- REPRESENTATIVES: Year Terms. Chairs are Trina Smith, Jefferson County Art Aloise, appointed by the President Dan Gallagher , Armstrong Representative Retired Trustee to Health & for two--year terms. County Representative. [email protected] Welfare Position is Open, [email protected] [email protected] Somerset County Linda Gardill, Social OFFICERS: Fred Baca, Bedford County Carol Black, ESP Rep [email protected] Representative Barb Lynch, President [email protected] [email protected] Connie Marr, Webmaster [email protected] conniemcandless- Paul Artley, Cambria Coun- COMMITTEE CHAIRS: [email protected] Art Aloise, Vice-President [email protected] ty Co-Representative Diane Waksmunski, Marcia S Rettig-Seitam [email protected] [email protected] Membership [email protected] Elizabeth Wilt, Treasurer Ron Stempka, Cambria Ron Stempka, County Co-Representative Member Benefits Membership Committee: [email protected] [email protected] Mary Mastrine [email protected] James Johnson, Temporary Linda Jones, Indiana County Secretary Representative [email protected] [email protected] Volume 7, Issue 1 Page 3

Connecting with Others Awesome Apps Does your town or county have an interesting activity 1. Car Finder AR is $1.99 for Android phones. This coming in 2021? Would you like to connect with fellow helps you remember where you parked your car retirees? from the city to Walmart. Anchor Pointer Compass GPS does the same for iPhones. Here is your chance to help showcase your area. 2. Pandora offers free customizable stations. You lis- For example, retirees from Armstrong and Indiana coun- ten to commercials periodically. ties meet at the Log Cabin Restaurant for breakfast on the first Monday of the month for breakfast. 3. The Weather Channel app allows you to check weather for multiple locations from your phone. Please, contact Marcia S. Rettig-Seitam, Membership chair at [email protected] 4. WebMD offers an app for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You can establish goals for healthy eating Scam Alert and exercise habits. You can track yourself every week. 1. You need to make sure to tell solicitors that: “I never buy from/give to anyone 5. Pillboxie is $.99. You can set reminders for taking who calls or visits me unannounced. medications and setup reminders for ordering pre- Send me something in writing.” You scriptions. You can use the sectioned graphics to can buy from local children but do not organize your medications and take them at the offer your credit card information. You also want to ob- correct day and time. tain a saleperson’s name, business information with mail- ing address, phone number, and business license number 6. Goodreads lets you share your favorite books. You before transacting business. You want to take your time can not purchase the book but you can find books making decisions. that are of similar interests. 2. You can help yourself not be a victim to identity theft. 7. Epicurious contains more than 30,000 recipes. You You want to use a paper shredder to shred all credit card can sync this with your grocery list. There is a Cook receipts. You also want to monitor bank and credit card Mode that offers hands free cooking directions. statements. You want to make sure to not offer personal information to anyone who initiates contact with you. Helpful Websites 3. You want to make sure that mail does not sit in your 1. has digital games like Sudoku, Scrabble, and mailbox for a long time. You want sensitive mail to be crossword puzzles. You can play on your own or have dropped off at the post office or a collection box. Checks online competitions with friends. can be stolen from your mailbox. It is a wise idea to use direct deposit for benefit checks. 2. has trivia and over a 1,000 pages with humor. 4. You can monitor your credit ratings for free at www.AnnualCreditReport,com. You can check on issues 3. contains articles on healthy living as well before they become a problem. as online classes. Help Wanted 4. makes using technolo- gy easy. You can learn how avoid scams and learn prac- Please consider sharing your talents to assist our mem- tical tips for using your computer. bers by joining in a leadership role. . 5. offers financial planning tips Somerset County Representative—If you live in Somer- plus topics such as fashion and beauty. set County, we could use your help with meeting the needs of our members. 6. also gives information on health and finance. There are free online classes. Please contact Barb Lynch, President [email protected] Page 4 Central Western Region PSEA-R

Report from the Retired Board of Directors Meeting held on March 8, 2021. PSEA wants to assure all of its retired members that the PSERS Fund is doing quite well. In fact, the Fund’s cur- rent balance is at an all-time high approaching $60 Billion dollars. This fantastic performance in not only due to the fact that the stock market is performing at some of its highest levels in quite some time. But the financial health of the PSERS Fund is also a result of significant changes the PSERS Board made following the stock market crash in 2008. The changes that were made were designed to allow the Fund to better survive market down turns and that is exacting what has happened. Recently, the Philadelphia Inquirer published statements by former state Treasurer, Joe Torsella, which alleged cor- rupt practices within PSERS and in particular charging the PSERS Board with fraud. PSEA wants to assure its members that these allegations are UNTRUE. There exists a great deal of information on the PSERS’s website about the Board of Trustees investment practices, management fee structures and other aspects of how our money is handled. I encourage all members to spend some time reviewing this information at Your Dues Dollars at Work! When Will This All End? Have you heard the good news, Pennsylvania’s education The PSEA State House of Delegates will be virtual in personnel, teachers, administrators, staff members, etc. are May. PSEA-Retired’s August workshop entitled, Building all receiving the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine during the Stronger Locals, has been cancelled. Gettysburg Leader- month of March. The job of making this a reality has been ship Conference at the very least will be virtual and may assigned to the Intermediate Units across the state. end up being cancelled for another year. Spring Member- ship Meetings, like ours on April 29th, will be virtual as I’m sure this is not new to each of you but what you may were last Fall’s Membership Meetings. Those of us in not realize is how big a part PSEA played in making this a elected and appointed leadership positions across the reality. PSEA worked with Governor Wolf’s office to make state are asking, “When will this all end?” the case for why our active members and their peers needed We are anxious, like most of you, to get back to in-person to be upgraded to 1A status and in particular how im- meetings. Not that any of us miss the headaches associat- portant it was for allowing all of PA’s classrooms to become ed with traveling to these meetings but we do indeed miss fully in-person and remaining open for the remainder of the the camaraderie as well as the benefits gained by network- school year. For example, consider that currently unvac- ing with others. cinated staff, when exposed to someone with COVID, must PSEA has September 1 as its current target date for easing be quarantined for at least 10 days as the current state rec- the restriction on in-person meetings. Let’s all hope, that ommendations state. This can result in multiple staff mem- will be possible! We all know that it will take more than bers being quarantined at any time throughout the school hoping to make herd immunity a reality, however. year. And this fact, has the very real potential of closing a school at any time between now and the end of the year. Page 5 Thank You PSEA-Retired Two years ago, our state organization put forth a recommen- dation that the NEA-Retired’s By-laws be changed regarding the dues structure for its ESP members. Our state’s recom- mendation was approved at the most recent NEA-Retired Board of Directors meeting for inclusion in business to be considered at this summer’s NEA-RA. There will be an amendment to the NEA-Retired By-Laws presented to the delegates for their approval. This amendment will set the rate for ESP Retired members at 60% of whatever the dues are at that time for EA members. This reduction will apply to all annual and life members who join after the 2020-2021 membership year. Volume 7 , Issue 1

Direct Deposit for Pension Checks is the Way to Go! Apparently, many PSERS annuitants, who have their checks mailed to them each month, did not receive their February checks when they normally do each month. PSERS is blaming the postal service for this delay. But whatever the cause, the surest way to get your money on time is by having it deposited directly into your bank account. To sign up for the electronic transfer of your payment directly into your account, you need to complete and submit to PSERS the Authorization for Direct Deposit – Electronic Transfer of Monthly Payment (PDF). This form is available at the PSERS website ( or we can mail you a copy. If you want us to mail you a copy, contact Barb Lynch at (814) 445-8542 by leaving a message requesting a form along with your name and phone number. Or email Barb at [email protected] Medicare Advantage Programs TRUST Act Opposition Enticing Ads for Medicare Advantage Programs TRUST Act Opposition by Alliance Medicare Advantage Healthcare Insurance pro- “During the February 5, 2021 debate on Senate budget reso- viders and their vendors barrage us daily with ads lution, the Senate voted 71-29 in favor of an amendment to claiming savings for seniors who sign up for their potentially pave the way for Social Security and Medicare programs. The Spring issue of our PSEA-Retired “Rescue Committees.” These committees would have the Statement will include a center-fold article about this issue. authority to recommend changes to the Social Security, Medi- care and Highway Trust Funds.” (Excerpt taken from a posi- Please recognize that our PSERS HOP system provides similar tion paper dated February 2021 by Alliance for Retired Medicare Advantage Plans that are very robust and cost effec- Americans.) The position paper goes on to establish the Alli- tive compared to many of the plans that you hear about or see ance’s position of strong opposition to this budget resolution advertised on TV. presented by Senator Mitt Romney and Representative Mike Gallagher this session of Congress as, The Time to Rescue Also, if you purchase healthcare from anywhere other than the United States Trusts (TRUST) Act (S. 2733 and H.R. through HOP you will lose whatever Premium Assistance you 4907). currently receive each month in your pension check. Premi- um Assistance is a benefit provided by PSERS to its annui- It is the Alliance’s position that retirees have earned their tants who qualify but it is only available if your insurance is Social Security and Medicare benefits, that these benefits purchased through PSERS HOP. And for most of us, once insure that older Americans receive the health care they need we leave the HOP system, should we decide to re-enter it and provide the necessary income required in our retirement HOP is no longer required to ignore your pre-existing condi- years. The Rescue Committees can deliberate issues in meet- tions for eligibility. Additionally, re-entry may be dependent ings that are not open to the public. Any report from these upon your need to experience a qualifying event. Without committees can be approved by a simple majority vote of such, you may not be able to rejoin HOP. their 12 members. Reports become bills and are sent to the House and Senate Committees for review and discussion but Please contact the HOP Benefits before you decide to buy cannot be amended. The bill then goes to the House and your health insurance outside of PSERS HOP. Senate for an up or down vote. Such measures could cut So- cial Security and Medicare benefits, are secretive, and provide 800-773-7725 political cover. PSEA Professional Learning Exchange The Professional Learning Exchange offers webinars, book discussions, well-being seminars as well as online learning options that offer opportunities for Act 48 credits. Many of us are beyond needing Act 48 credits but there are still offerings from the Exchange that we seniors may enjoy. In particular, I direct your attention to the Member Well-Being workshops. Each is referred to as Mindfulness for _____. The blank is filled in with words like Experiencing Gratitude, Preventing Burn Out, Healthy Minds and Developing Aware for just some of the upcoming seminars. You must register in advance for each seminar. Registration is available at: practice/center-for-professional-learning/wellness-events-landing-page/ Page 6 Central Western Region PSEA-R

Like this book? You can publish your book online for free in a few minutes!
Create your own flipbook