Mission Statement: The mission of the Indiana Retired Teachers Association is to promote the welfare of Indiana’s retired educators, to encourage and perpetuate education in the state of Indiana and to provide community leadership, service and guidance.
Membership Sweeps Contest
Now is the time! As you pay your dues, sweep in a new member and not only increase IRTA membership, but have the chance to win money for your local chapter. To get credit for your newly recruited member(s), ask members to write your name in the county field of their membership applications. Click here for a SWEEPS flyer.
Watch out! Past President Bob Kraft, also known as The Sweeper, has recruited 28 new members and counting. Don't let The Sweeper swoop up your prize money for biggest percentage increase in new IRTA membership for your local.
We are proud to announce two national awards!
Individual Award Presented to Jerry Bell
Fantastic news--we have been notified by the National Retired Teachers Association that we have won two awards on the national level. The first was an individual award given to Jerry D. Bell, from Hancock County, Area 5, for his work on the Nameless Creek Youth Camp. The camp had become so rundown that it was unusable. Unable to accept this, Jerry mobilized a group of volunteers to begin restoration. Local Scout groups began helping, and soon the community got involved, donating time, money, and effort. Jerry set up a governing board, a web site, and made a power point for presenting the project to various organizations.
With much restoration completed, the community began using the camp again. They held summer camps; church groups could utilize the facility; families held reunions; scouts worked on badges, and the Boy Scouts International held a conference there.
Eagle Scouts completed five projects around the camp, including a new entrance and the construction of Nameless Creek Pond. In six years, through the driving force of Jerry Bell, the camp is totally functional. The award given to Jerry by NRTA is one of three that they give throughout the U.S. How proud we are to have Jerry as a member of IRTA!
State Award Presented to Melody Kruger
The other award given to the Indiana Retired Teachers Association by the NRTA is for the state-wide program of partnering with CASA (Court Appointed Advocates) to encourage retired teachers to volunteer for the program. In the years that we have had this relationship with CASA, the number of retired teachers has risen to 278, about a 78% increase. This year at the Representative Assembly, we recognized IRTA member Melody Kruger of Marshall County for her outstanding work with CASA. We had as an honored guest, Justice Loretta Rush, Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, who presented with a plaque to honor Melody.
Leslie Dunn, the State Director for GAL/CASA, had this to say when told about the award: "The partnership between retired teachers and CASA has been a tremendous benefit to courts and children in Indiana. Retired teachers are ideal advocates for children due to their teaching experience, their strong verbal and writing skills and their passion for helping children and families." The Indiana Retired Teachers Association is grateful for the support of the Indiana Supreme Court and the GAL/CASA Director. They have encouraged and supported us as we seek to expand our participation in CASA.
Click here to see our awards highlighted on AARP's web site!
NEWS FROM YOUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR:
How disappointing! We are always learning new things about how our state government works! Many of you thought, as I did, that if there was a surplus in the state income this year, it meant that more money would go into the PSF (the Pension Stabilization Fund). When we began reading about the large surplus for this year, we were excited; I contacted the INPRS office to ask the amount that would go into the PSF but was told there wasn’t enough to “trigger” the payment. Perhaps you can understand my confusion. After I had conversations with several individuals and after doing some research, here is what I found:
The bill is written to say that the “excess reserves” must be 12.5% plus $50 million dollars over the budget for the trigger to go into effect. However, Governor Pence made the decision to pay the $66 million debt for prisons from the surplus, leaving the “excess reserves” too low for the "trigger.”
We understand that the state wants to pay its debts, but we see the billions of dollars in the Unfunded Liability as a debt that the state owes the pre-‘96 fund for retired teachers. Our pre-’96 pension fund** is the only one of the seven public pension funds that was put on a pay-as-you-go basis. In other words, money was set aside for other public pension plans, but was not set aside for the teachers who taught under the pre-’96 plan. What our leaders did in the early days is, perhaps, beside the point now, but there is such a thing as fairness, and we still ask ourselves why we are the only public pension plan with an unfunded liability. If those billions were in the plan—if it were a healthy 80% funded as are the other six, we do not believe that it would be as hard to convince the legislature that a COLA (Cost-Of-Living-Adjustment) is necessary to continue to allow the retired teachers to live out their lives in dignity.
For those who may not know, state leaders realized in 1995 that the unfunded liability for the teacher pension plan was unsustainable. With pressure from groups, including the Indiana Retired Teachers Association, the legislature stopped the pension plan of pre-1996, and began a new fund that was to be fully funded—the post ’96 fund. At that time, they also established the Pension Stabilization Fund that was to put money aside to bring the pre-’96 Fund into a healthier condition.
We continue to monitor the PSF. We continue to insist to legislators that five years without a COLA has a very detrimental effect on our retirees’ purchasing power. We continue to tell them that a COLA helps the economy of the state since most of it goes right back into the community and at the same time helps those who spent their careers in teaching the children and youth of Indiana.
Even though it is summer and the legislature is not in session, we are working for you. You will be hearing ways in which you can assist us at the Fall Workshops and through the rest of the year. Please step up and help when we ask. Meanwhile, enjoy these beautiful fall days.
For details of 2013 and 2012 legislative actions, click here.
Now Accepting Scholarship Applications for the 2014-2015 Academic Year!
To download the scholarship guidelines and application, click here.
Instructions for Renewing your 8% Verizon DiscountMany of you have received either an email or a letter from Verizon asking you to validate your employment with IRTA (in your case, your membership with IRTA) in order to renew the discount you are receiving on your monthly bill. A member has provided us with the following instructions to assist you in renewing the member discount of 8% on qualifying monthly charges. Please let us know if you have any trouble renewing your discount this way.
- Access and print the Verizon End User Form by clicking here.
- Complete the form, and write the words "Discount Renewal" at the top of the form and "ECPD Profile ID: 1695517" in large letters at the bottom of the form.
- Make a photocopy of your current membership card.
- Mail your completed form with a copy of your membership card to:
- Verizon Wireless Employment Validation
- Program Code: 50-001
- PO Box 540002
- El Paso, TX 88554-9901
- For questions, please call Verizon Customer Service at: 1-800-922-0204.
NEW RETIREES: No Waiting Period for Dental & Vision Coverage
The Indiana Retired Teachers Association has negotiated an industry first for its members! For the first time ever, all 2013 retirees can join the group dental and vision plans with no waiting periods - regardless of prior coverage. If members join within 60 days of their retirement date, they can receive immediate coverage. Click here to download details and an application.
Travel Opportunities for our Members
Visit our Travel Page for more details on these trips.
The Bulletin Board is now available as a digital subscription.
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