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  • OuTlOOk Focusing on Retirement Issues for Massport Employees Past and Present

    vol. 12, No. 1 Fall 2011

    I N S I D E

    • Beneficiary Matters 2

    • Annual Report Mailed 3

    • Retirees’ Corner 3

    • Transitions 5

    • Book Corner 5

    • Web Watch 6

    • Calendar 6 — continued on page 4

    Find us online at http://retirement.massport.com!

    d “The fact is, no matter your age

    or the size of

    your estate you

    should consider

    creating a will.”

    Planning your Estate–Important Considerations o you know who gets to

    decide how your personal

    property is divided if

    you die without a will?

    Dying without a will is

    called dying intestate

    and how your assets are

    divided is determined by

    the courts according to

    state law. Approximately

    55% of American adults

    do not have a will. This is

    according to a December

    2010 survey from Findlaw.

    com. Not surprisingly, this

    number is higher among

    younger people. Survey

    results indicate that only

    one in six people between

    the ages of 18 and 34 have

    a will. This could be an

    indication that most of

    us only seriously consider

    the necessity of future

    planning as we get older.

    The fact is, no matter your

    age or the size of your

    estate you should consider

    creating a will.

    A will is a legal

    document that identifies

    your assets and how you

    would like them divided

    between your loved ones.

    A will may also allow you

    to appoint a guardian for

    your minor children in the

    event that you and your

    spouse die at the same

    time.

    While a will is the

    cornerstone of any estate

    plan, another important

    component to consider is

    a living trust. A will and

    living trust are similar in

    that both identify your

    assets and how you want

    them divided among

    your beneficiaries. There

    may be advantages to a

    living trust, such as the

    ability to transfer assets to

    it immediately upon its

    execution. In addition,

    many states recognize the

    privacy of a living trust,

    while wills may become

    part of the public record.

    living trusts may also be

    less expensive than a will,

    which is subject to a court-

    administered probate

    process.

    You may also want

    to consider whether a

    revocable trust should be part of your estate

    plan. A revocable trust is a trust created during your

  • For Your Benefit

    i

    2

    t is important to

    understand how your

    retirement benefit works

    but it is also important

    to know what your

    beneficiaries are entitled

    to (and to make sure that

    they know as well).

    If you are single you can name anyone as your

    retirement beneficiary. If

    you die prior to retirement

    your beneficiaries would

    be entitled to a lump sum

    payment of your Massport

    retirement account

    balance. However, you can

    also designate an “Option

    D” beneficiary which is a

    little different.

    According to

    Massachusetts law, the

    Option D beneficiary can be a spouse, parent,

    child, sibling or former

    spouse who has not

    remarried. With this

    know What Your loved Ones are Entitled To option, if you die before

    retirement your Option

    D beneficiary will receive

    a monthly survivor’s

    allowance for the rest

    of his/her life. For some

    people this can be a very

    valuable benefit.

    You may only

    designate one person

    as your Option D

    beneficiary, so this is not

    a perfect fit for everyone

    (for example if you are

    a single parent with two

    children you may not

    want to choose one child

    over the other). However,

    for some members it can

    be a relief to know that

    if anything ever happens

    to them they can leave

    behind a stable source of

    income for one of their

    family members.

    If you have been married for at least one year your spouse is automatically entitled to

    the Option D benefit. If

    a member dies prior to

    retirement his/her spouse

    would be given the option

    of receiving a one time

    payout of the member’s

    account or collecting a

    lifetime pension.

    The Option D benefit

    is calculated the same way

    as the Option C retirement

    allowance, however if

    the member dies before

    his/her 55th birthday, the

    calculation is performed

    as if he/she were age 55.

    If the person died after

    his/her 55th birthday, the

    numbers would be based

    on the person’s actual age

    on the date of death.

    If an employee dies

    and he/she had at least

    two years of creditable

    service, there is a

    guaranteed minimum

    allowance of $250.00

    per month or $3,000

    annually for his/her

    spouse provided they were

    married for at least one

    year and living together

    at the time of death. If

    living apart, “it must be

    for justifiable cause other

    than the spouse’s desertion

    or moral turpitude,”

    according to the Guide to

    Survivor Benefits for Public

    Employees produced

    by the Public Employee

    Retirement Administration

    Commission.

    If you are separated, that is when retirement

    beneficiary issues can get

    tricky. As long as you are

    still legally married your

    spouse could be entitled

    to the Option D benefit if

    you die prior to retirement

    – even if you would not

    want your spouse to

    have the money. If you

    change your beneficiary

    to name someone other

    than your spouse but

    you are not officially

    divorced, your spouse

    may still have a viable

    claim to your pension

    under Massachusetts

    law, depending upon the

    circumstances of your

    separation and your

    living arrangements. If

    you are getting divorced,

    your attorney would

    most likely work with

    the retirement office

    to incorporate your

    retirement benefit into

    the divorce settlement

    (if necessary). However,

    if you are separated or

    estranged from your

    spouse but a divorce has

    not been finalized you

    should be aware of your

    spouse’s possible right to

    collect a pension from

    Massport in the event of

    your death. There have

    been situations where this

    has become a problem –

    don’t think that it can’t

    happen to you. The best

    thing you can do is have

    your affairs in order and

    make sure your situation

    is properly documented.

    Please feel free to

    contact the retirement

    office for guidance on

    this sensitive topic.

    Information is always held

    in the strictest confidence.

    If you have questions

    about survivor benefits

    or wish to complete

    a beneficiary change

    form, please contact the

    retirement office at

    (617) 568-3951.

  • 3

    Annual Report Mailed to Members We mailed our 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report to all members, active, inactive, and retired in the spring. This report contains our financial statements, information about the actuarial valuation and investment activity, as well as basic and statistical information about the system and some frequently asked questions.

    We have submitted the 2010 report to the Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting program. We have earned this recognition from the GFOA for the past eleven years.

    Retirees’ Corner

    Beware of Late Enrollment Penalty for Medicare Part B ere’s a reminder to all

    our retirees who are

    younger than 65 and not

    yet enrolled in Medicare

    Part B. Make sure you

    begin the Medicare Part B

    enrollment process three

    months before you turn

    65. You can enroll either

    online at http://www.

    socialsecurity.gov/ or by

    visiting the nearest Social

    Security office.

    There are strict rules

    around Medicare Part B

    enrollment periods after

    you stop working and

    timing is important. If

    you don’t sign up for

    Medicare Part B when you

    should, you could be hit

    with a late enrollment

    penalty: a permanent

    increase in your premium

    of 10% for every year that

    you could have signed

    up but didn’t. And while

    as most of you know,

    Massport reimburses

    retiree Medicare Part B

    premiums* ($115.40 per

    month is the stan