Legislators Return to Montgomery this week

The two-week Spring Break is over, and legislators are returning to work. We expect the ETF budget to be on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon and will keep you informed.

SB159 COLA Trust Fund Bill passed in the Senate and is now in the House. It has been assigned to the Ways and Means Education Committee and carrying it in the House is Representative Connie Rowe (District 13). Our goal is to have this bill in Committee this week.

A new bill to be aware of is HB432 sponsored by Representative Jim Patterson that could negatively impact retirees who go back and work for a covered system. Basically it would allow for a 5 percent surcharge on your salary if you work in a school and collect a pension and the school system would pay a 5 percent surcharge to the RSA. AERA has called for a public hearing on this bill and we have informed the sponsor that we oppose this bill. We are looking for a retirees who live in or around Montgomery to testify on the negative impact of this bill. The retiree should be someone who fills in as a long term sub or is teaching a Math class because the school system can’t find anyone to teach it. In other words, a retiree that would feel the impact of a 5 percent surcharge. The retiree can also be someone who can state that this work is how I make it financially. It is critical that our voice is heard. AERA is prepared to testify but a “real life story” will carry more weight.

The following is the HB432’s explanation:

This bill would authorize a five percent surcharge on a retired person and a five percent surcharge on the employer of the retired person, such surcharge being based on the annual gross compensation of the retired person and distributed to the Retirement Systems of Alabama, when the person is retired under the Employees’ Retirement System or the Teachers’ Retirement System and receives compensation for duties performed in any capacity, including as an independent contractor, for an employer participating in the Employees’ Retirement System or the Teachers’ Retirement System, without suspension of the retirement allowance of the person. This bill would require disclosure of the surcharge be provided to the retired person under certain conditions and would specify that the surcharge is nonrefundable and will not be credited to the retiree.

Stay tuned more information will be forthcoming once we know something. Thank you for your continued support.

Janice J. Charlesworth
Executive Director
Alabama Education Retirees Association
800-537-6867 or 334-262-4177