INDIANA WORKS BECAUSE  ...WE DO! 

ISEA OFFICE LOCATION
1398 N Shadeland Ave. Room 2232
Indianapolis IN 46219-3619
East Gate Station PO Box 199225
Indianapolis IN 46219-9225
317-353-8675

ARCHIVES

2015 RESOLUTIONS!
Resolution #1

ISEA shall continue to proactively pursue policies for all employees, active, future, and retired that are beneficial for their retirement benefits.

Resolution #2

ISEA shall continue to proactively pursue policies for all employees, active, future, and retired that are beneficial such as salaries increases and COLAs.
 
Resolution #3

ISEA shall continue to proactively pursue policies for all employees, active, future, and retired that are beneficial to them.

Resolution #4

The ISEA Board of Directors shall oversee the office structure to insure the viability of ISEA into the future, and the Board of Directors shall modernize ISEA through all appropriate means.

Resolution #5

ISEA shall research to modernize its communication methods of disseminating information to State Employees and the public in general by all appropriate means, incorporating the use of up-to-date technology solutions, especially social media; and ISEA shall institute "InSEArch of Solutions" or a similar tool to recruit new members and discuss problems of state employees.
LEGISTLATIVE SESSION HAS ENDED BUT ISEA WORK NOT DONE!!

The Legislative Session is over for 2014, and ISEA made headway this year on several legislative issues that we were faced with, but, we still have lots of work ahead of us.  We first of all, want to start out by THANKING ALL ISEA MEMBERS who stepped up and called or emailed their Representatives and Senators on several of the Key Legislative Bills that were introduced this year.  It may have been just a small part that you were able to do, but, the outcome of your actions was a far greater reward that benefits all public employees!
 
There were two major issues that we were faced with this year during the 2014 Legislative Session, and that was stopping the Privatization of the Annuity Savings Account (ASA) and Repealing the Legislation that was passed back in 2005 that would have gone into Effect on July 1st, 2014 and would have required Public Employees who retired and had up to 30 days of vacation time left to use to have been placed into a 401H program that would have been managed by the Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS) instead of receiving these vacation days as a part of your last paycheck.
 
The privatization of the ASA is stopped until at least January 1st, 2017; however, the interest rate one earns upon retirement will change beginning October 1st, 2014.  The new rate an ASA will earn if one chooses to annuitize will be 5.75%.  The rate will stay there until October 1st, 2015 at which time the rate will drop down to 4.5% or the rate of an annuity that sells on the private market, whichever rate is higher, is what will be used.  From October 1st, 2015 until December 31st, 2016, the rate will then remain unchanged.  On January 1st, 2017, INPRS will then have the right to Privatize the ASA, if they so choose to do so; also, the interest rates for ASA will be set to whatever an annuity selling on the private markets at that time.
 
Even though, we did not get the privatization completely stopped this session, we at least made a good start.  The summer interim study sessions are up next, and we are already hard at work, gearing up for our next actions.  Our primary focus is stop INPRS from Privatizing completely in 2017.  We are already pulling together meetings with key Representatives and Senators who stood by our sides as we worked to try to put an end to these actions by INPRS.  Everyone seems to agree that there is a problem, and that Privatization is not the answer to the ASA issues.  At this time, we have even been made aware that Indiana is drawing national attention from the National Public Pensions Coalition (NPPC).  The NPPC took interest into Indiana’s Pension System, when they noticed that some of the larger Employer Groups that were a part of the system, started dropping new hires from the Public Employees Retirement Fund (PERF) without any penalties.  Two major groups that have already dropped from PERF is Indiana University and Purdue University, with a third (Indiana State University) set to drop effect July 1, 2014.  This is not a good thing, as it shifts their unfunded liabilities to other employers that are still a part of the program.  If employer groups continue to drop out of the program, the fund will destabilize and not be in a good situation.  So, as part of our continued work, we are going to be looking at trying to get some type of legislation that will try to stop employer groups from dropping by enforcing some type of penalty and fees if they so choose to drop the program.  We will continue to monitor this situation closely, and will be working closely with all of our colleagues to see how this will affect the overall stability of the PERF system.
Also on our agenda for the interim sessions is to discuss the Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) for those who have retired.  We tried again this year to get a COLA, but  were only granted a 13teeth Check again this year, it will be distributed as follows by October 1st, 2014:

At least 5 years of service, but less than 10 years: $150
At least 10 years of service, but less than 20 years: $275
At least 20 years of service, but less than 30 years: $375
At least 30 years: $450

Legislation was written by both Chambers this year for a COLA.  The Senate version for a COLA adjustment never made it out of the Senate Pension’s and Labor Committee; however, the House version of the COLA made it all the way through the House and passed out of the House, only to be held up by the Senate and Pension’s Labor Committee, as Chairman Senator Philip Boots, would not allow it to come up for a vote, as he felt that it could not be funded this year!  As such, this will be a hot topic this summer, and hopefully in the upcoming 2015 Session, as it has been a few years since a COLA has been given. We understand that this is a lot of information to take in and to even try to understand, but, we are here to help!  ISEA is dedicated to helping our Members and fighting for their rights.  And so our work continues and we will work very hard for each of you!

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_____________________________________________

 

10 COMMON SCAMS

BE AWARE

1) Nigerian Scam-false business transactions proposed to you.                                                              

2) Advance Fee Loan Scam-paying a fee for a loan and then not receiving the loan.                                        

3) Lottery Scam-emails claiming you’ve won and all you have to do is pay the taxes—HOWEVER, you never see the winnings.

4) Phishing Emails-emails designed to obtain your personal information.

5) Overpayment Scam-a seller is given more money for an item and asked to put the extra in another account.

6) Disaster Relief Scam-seen during natural disasters.

7) Credit Repair Scam-offers help, but steals your money.

8) Work from Home Scheme-sounds good, but usually bad.

9) Home Repair Scam-unless you call them, don’t trust them at your door.

10) “Free” Trial Offer-usually require credit cards...bad idea.

ASA

Pension Management Oversight Commission

Meeting 9/23/13

Testimony was given by ISEA and several other organizations opposing the direction the fund was taking for investing our ASA money. All indication are that the commision will recomend our thoughts on the issue.

The Pension Management Oversight Commission Meeting on 

Oct. 21 2013 will give us their decision

ISEA also gave testimony on the need for a COLA this coming year and continuing each year thereafter, this too was received well.

9/23/13 PMOC Minutes

10/21/13 PMOC Minutes

 

10/21/13 MEETING

 

ASA AND COLA RECOMMENDATION, LOOK FAVORABLE, AS THEY COME OUT OF THE PMOC MEETING

 

PERF and TRF Annuity Savings Account (ASA) Annuitization


Senator Tallian outlined her proposed motion, which states:


(1) The Commission considered the four proposals considered by the INPRS Board

regarding the issuance of annuities to retirees for their ASAs.

(2) The Commission recommends that INPRS pursue an option that would keep the

annuitization of ASAs in-house and to not proceed with a 3rd party contract.

Instead, INPRS should periodically establish an interest rate that will not create

an unfunded liability in their managed funds.

(3) The Commission recommends the General Assembly not set a statutory interest

rate at this time.

(4) The Commission recommends that the date to undertake these activities occur

not earlier than October 1, 2014.


After discussing the motion, the motion was passed by unanimous vote without amendments.

Senator Hume asked that his vote reflect his displeasure with the date of October 1, 2014, as he believes potential retirees require more time to plan for retirement, and there should be no annuity rate change prior to, at minimum, January 1, 2015.

PERF Board Meets 10/25/13

They should make appropriate changes then!

****

---------------------

COLAs, Thirteenth Checks, and Minimum Pension Benefit Scenarios
Representative Thompson introduced PD 3285 (Exhibit E), which establishes a formula for
annual postretirement benefit adjustments for members, survivors, and beneficiaries of PERF
and TRF. Representative Thompson explained that the formula included in the preliminary draft
is meant to provide a postretirement increase that will benefit those that have been retired for
many years as well as those retirees who had many years of service.
The Commission members discussed this language at length, with some showing concern
about the potential fiscal impact and others having questions as to whether the postretirement
benefit increase would be awarded as a 13th Check or as a COLA. As a result of the discussion,
Chairman Boots requested that the Commission not consider a motion to recommend the
legislation.
Senator Tallian and Senator Walker offered a motion that does not include a recommendation
of the actual preliminary draft per se, but rather a recommendation of the postretirement benefit
increase formula within the draft. The motion reads:
(1) Should the Indiana General Assembly adopt a 13th Check or a COLA, the
formula contained within PD 3285 is the formula that should be utilized to
calculate the level of benefit increase.
The Commission adopted the motion 9-0, with Representative Thompson abstaining.
Determination of Authors for PDs Recommended by the Commission
(1) PD 3342 (State-Assisted Retirement Plan). Senators Tallian and Walker agreed
to be authors of PD 3342.
(2) PD 3302 (Benefits for Municipal EMS Workers). Senators Boots and Hume
agreed to be authors of PD 3302.
(3) PD 3285 (PERF and TRF Benefit Adjustments). Senators Tallian, Hume, and
Walker will author a Senate version, and Representatives Moseley and Burton
agreed to be authors of a House version.
Consideration of
COLAs, Thirteenth Checks, and Minimum Pension Benefit Scenarios
Representative Thompson introduced PD 3285 (Exhibit E), which establishes a formula for
annual postretirement benefit adjustments for members, survivors, and beneficiaries of PERF
and TRF. Representative Thompson explained that the formula included in the preliminary draft
is meant to provide a postretirement increase that will benefit those that have been retired for
many years as well as those retirees who had many years of service.
The Commission members discussed this language at length, with some showing concern
about the potential fiscal impact and others having questions as to whether the postretirement
benefit increase would be awarded as a 13th Check or as a COLA. As a result of the discussion,
Chairman Boots requested that the Commission not consider a motion to recommend the
legislation.
Senator Tallian and Senator Walker offered a motion that does not include a recommendation
of the actual preliminary draft per se, but rather a recommendation of the postretirement benefit
increase formula within the draft. The motion reads:
(1) Should the Indiana General Assembly adopt a 13th Check or a COLA, the
formula contained within PD 3285 is the formula that should be utilized to
calculate the level of benefit increase.
The Commission adopted the motion 9-0, with Representative Thompson abstaining.
Determination of Authors for PDs Recommended by the Commission
(1) PD 3342 (State-Assisted Retirement Plan). Senators Tallian and Walker agreed
to be authors of PD 3342.
(2) PD 3302 (Benefits for Municipal EMS Workers). Senators Boots and Hume
agreed to be authors of PD 3302.
(3) PD 3285 (PERF and TRF Benefit Adjustments). Senators Tallian, Hume, and
Walker will author a Senate version, and Representatives Moseley and Burton
agreed to be authors of a House version.
Consideration of

COLAs, Thirteenth Checks, and Minimum Pension Benefit Scenarios

Representative Thompson introduced PD 3285 (Exhibit E), which establishes a formula for annual postretirement benefit adjustments for members, survivors, and beneficiaries of PERF and TRF. Representative Thompson explained that the formula included in the preliminary draft

is meant to provide a postretirement increase that will benefit those that have been retired for many years as well as those retirees who had many years of service. The Commission members discussed this language at length, with some showing concern about the potential fiscal impact and others having questions as to whether the postretirement benefit increase would be awarded as a 13th Check or as a COLA. As a result of the discussion, Chairman Boots requested that the Commission not consider a motion to recommend the legislation. Senator Tallian and Senator Walker offered a motion that does not include a recommendation of the actual preliminary draft per se, but rather a recommendation of the postretirement benefit increase formula within the draft. The motion reads:

(1) Should the Indiana General Assembly adopt a 13th Check or a COLA, the formula contained within PD 3285 is the formula that should be utilized to calculate the level of benefit increase.

The Commission adopted the motion 9-0, with Representative Thompson abstaining.

Determination of Authors for PDs Recommended by the Commission

(1) PD 3342 (State-Assisted Retirement Plan). Senators Tallian and Walker agreed to be authors of PD 3342.

(2) PD 3302 (Benefits for Municipal EMS Workers). Senators Boots and Hume agreed to be authors of PD 3302.

(3) PD 3285 (PERF and TRF Benefit Adjustments). Senators Tallian, Hume, and Walker will author a Senate version, and Representatives Moseley and Burton agreed to be authors of a House version.



STRESS

A growing epidemic of job-induced, stress-related illnesses  is taking a high toll on employees.  Workers’ compensation claims related to stress have tripled since 1980.  .

Working conditions appear to be the primary cause of stress-related illnesses.

                                                          

Workers who have:

1) very psychologically demanding jobs,

2) little control over their work, and

3) very little social support (isolation from co-workers) are at increased risk for serious stress-related illnesses.

 

What is stress?

 

Stress is a natural biological response to unusual demands. It is the survival mechanism that allows the body to react quickly and release extra energy to fight off danger or to run away. It is often referred to as the “fight” or “flight” reaction. We all know the feeling. A good example is suddenly braking to avoid hitting another car. The body releases adrenaline, the heart beats rapidly, breathing increases and perspiration (sweat) starts to flow. Once out of danger, however, we begin to relax.

 

Negative stress never allows us to relax. In a stressful office environment, workers experience all the common stress reactions (rapid heart beat, etc.) on a daily basis. Most, however, are in a state of constant alert. They never have an opportunity to return to a normal state of relaxation. This chronic stress causes wear and tear on the body.

 

What causes stress?

 

In addition to little control, high demands and inadequate social support on the job, the following characteristics also contribute to stress:

 

  1. little opportunity to use creativity
  2. lack of job security
  3. shift work
  4. lack of recognition and support

Stress related problems can grow worse if these causes of stress are combined with a bad physical environment (i.e., inadequate ventilation, poor lighting, excessive noise or badly designed work stations). Continuous harassment (fiscal, sexual or mental) from management.

 

How does stress take its toll?

 

Stressed workers generally feel unhappy. They are usually irritable, easily angered or fatigued, lethargic and depressed. They tend to smoke, drink alcohol and use drugs as ways to relieve their job stress.

 

Physical symptoms are prominent. Chronic headaches, gastrointestinal problems, lower back pain, insomnia and rapid loss or gain of weight are frequently reported by stressed workers. Workers who remain in these environments may go on to experience serious illness, including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, ulcers, colitis and frequent colds.

 

How can you relieve stress?

 

The focus of most stress reduction programs is on the individual. But this is only a small part of the solution. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has reported that workers who learn stress management techniques (biofeedback, muscle relaxation, anxiety management) can reduce their stress symptoms, but that the beneficial effects of these approaches usually last less than three months. These approaches treat the symptoms – but not the causes – of stress.

 

The symptoms of stress also can be reduced by:

 

  1. Eating the right foods. Sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol all contribute to drowsiness, headaches and irritability.
  2. Exercise
  3. Relaxation without the aid of alcohol and drugs
  4. Support from co-workers, family and friends
  5. Management understanding the need for and giving a word of appreciation now and than!