NCRO CONTINGENCY ACTION FUND (CAF)
We’re working hard to protect your retirement income and benefits. Your financial support is needed for legal expenses and legislative work in Washington to protect your retirement rights. Please contribute to the Contingency Action Fund today!
NCRO traveled to Washington D.C. with the NRLN and other retirement organizations for the NRLN’s 2016 Leadership Conference Feb. 8 – 10.
The articles in the 8-page newsletter include:
- Bill Kadereit, NRLN President, reports on the February Annual Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.
- Marta Bascom, NRLN Executive Directors, writes about the NRLN’s 13-year effort to defend against the onslaught of schemes by many pension plan administrators which place pension assets at great risk.
- The American Retirees Education Foundation (AREF), a nonprofit education foundation to expand the research and educational reach of the NRLN, has formed an Income Security Committee.
- Jay Kuhnie, President, National Chrysler Retirement Organization, has been elected as a new member of the NRLN Board of Directors and eight other members of the Board have been re-elected.
NRLN HOSTS A PRODUCTIVE WASHINGTON FLY-IN 2014
NCRO MEETS WITH SENATORS BROWN, PORTMAN, STABENOW AND SIX U.S. HOUSE MEMBERS
Over three jam-packed days and two nights from February 3 through February 5, nine NCRO members joined leaders of the National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) to advocate top 2014 NCRO/NRLN legislative and policy initiatives for salaried retirees to U.S. Senators, Representatives and members of their staffs, and to address NRLN business.
Chuck Austin, Jim Dekeyser, Chris Dyrda, Mike Esenbock, John Glotzbach, Pete Hollinshead, Joe Huber, Stan Hurst, and Deb Morrissett comprised the NCRO team that fanned out over Capitol Hill to make the case for consideration of salaried retiree concerns to senators, congressmen and their staff members.
The NCRO group met with U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) and their key staffers. A meeting with U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) in her Detroit office followed on February 14 after a session with four of her staff members in Washington on February 4. NCRO members also met with legislative assistants to U.S. Senators Carl Levin (D-MI), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Tim Scott (R-SC) on February 5. House members Marcy Kaptur (D, OH-9), Sander Levin (D, MI-9), Robert Latta (R, OH-5), Dan Benishek (R, MI-1), Tim Walberg (R, MI-7) and David Joyce (R, OH-14) also received NCRO delegations in their offices.
In addition to staff members for these members of Congress, the NCRO team also met with staffers involved with senior and retiree issues for Representatives Kerry Bentivolio (R, MI-11), John Dingell (D, MI-12), Dave Camp (R, MI-4), Pat Tiberi (R, OH-12), Mike Rogers (R, MI-8), Jeff Duncan (R, SC-3), Tom Rice (R, SC-7), James Clyburn (D, SC-6), Trey Gowdy (R, SC-4), Mike Mulvaney (R, SC-5) and Joe Wilson (R, SC-2) .
The staff members who assist the senators and representatives are key people to reach in our effort to bring attention to salaried retiree issues. The staff members do much of the heavy-lifting for their bosses by resolving constituent matters, researching issues, meeting with interest groups and lobbyists, writing legislation, working with the staffs of U.S. Government agencies, and working with other congressional offices and committees. They often become experts on the issues that come under their purview.
In all of the sessions on Capitol Hill, some key components of the NCRO/NRLN legislative and policy agenda were covered, as listed below.
- Company Pension Derisking
- Pension Plan Fiduciaries and Protection of Pension Assets in Foreign Ownership Situations
- Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) Reform and Oversight
- Medicare Advantage and Medigap Plans – pre-existing conditions, premium-to-spending ratios, premium rating factors (community-rated versus age-rated)
- Medicare Part D Prescription Drugs – importation of safe drugs, competitive bidding, pay-for-delay
- Senate Bill 569/House Bill 1179 – improving access to Medicare coverage
- Maintenance of Cost Protection
- “Doc Fix”- House Bill 2810/Senate Bill 1871
While progress is slow and not much is passing in the divided Congress, the NRLN is now seeing the introduction of bills in both houses that support its legislative agenda. There is now greater recognition of the NRLN and NCRO within some of the congressional offices. Your own individual advocacy efforts through letters to Congress, participation in town hall meetings, letters to editors, and responses to NRLN Action Alerts are clearly making a difference.
The second major part of the Washington Fly-In in February was the Annual Leadership Conference of the NRLN. NRLN President Bill Kadereit chaired general sessions that addressed the organization budget, communications, 2014 strategies and action plans, the implementation status of NRLN chapters (by geographic divisions versus retiree employer affiliation), grassroots activities and organizational structure. Additional sessions covered potential actions by Congress in 2014, lessons from the Kodak bankruptcy, and the top NRLN legislative initiatives for 2014. Jeff Cruz, Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), met with the group to discuss activities of the Senate Health, Education and Pension Committee which has jurisdiction over a number of retirement security issues.
We’re Defending Your Benefits in Washington
Our NCRO and NRLN Trip Reports to Washington: July 2013
The White Papers and/or their Executive Summaries are used to communicate the NRLN’s proposals to U.S. Representatives and Senators and members of their staffs. NRLN Grassroots Network members are encouraged to use these documents or information from them when writing to and talking with their elected representatives.
Our NCRO and NRLN Trip Reports to Washington: 2009-2012
DC 2012 Talking Points – Bankruptcy
DC 2012 Talking Points – Drug Costs
DC 2012 Talking Points – Mergers & Acquisitions
DC 2012 Talking Points – Maintenance of Cost Protection.
DC 2012 Talking Points – Medicare
DC 2012 Talking Points – Pension Asset Protection
DC 2012 Talking Points – PBGC Reform
DC 2012 Talking Points – Social Security
DC 2010 January NCRO Washington Trip
DC 2009 September NCRO Washington Trip
NRLN Fly-in Reports
Our Letters to Government Officials
Listed below are letters that some of us have written to Congress, the Governor and other State Representatives. After you open the Sample Letters, you may be able to copy and paste them into the NRLN site and use the Capwiz system to send a message to your representatives:
Here are some links to a few letters our members have previously sent to Government Representatives regarding Chrysler’s reneging on our benefits: