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NRLN President's Forum - We Charged Capitol] Hil

March 10, 2019 3:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Armed with folders containing NRLN whitepaper Executive Summaries and talking points, attendees spread out across Capitol Hill on Feb. 26 and 27 for 70 appointments with Representatives, Senators and/or members of their staffs to advocate five important retirement issues during the NRLN's Annual Leadership Conference in Washington, DC. The issues advocated on the Hill included: 1) Lobbying to reduce the price of prescription drugs through legislation that requires Medicare to do competitive bidding; import safe and lower price drugs from Canada, and stops the anti-competitive pay-fordelay tactic by brand-name drug makers to prevent or delay generic drugs from being available to Americans. 2) The goal of many in Congress and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is to shift federal health care expenses onto the backs of seniors. Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are being used as the "Trojan horse" to move Medicare toward privatization. Should privatization happen, the NRLN is lobbying to grandfather and protect the 19 million seniors (33% of all Medicare beneficiaries) who have purchased MA plans in good faith; require federal agencies to investigate and publish comparisons of cost and effectiveness of traditional Medicare and MA; require CMS not to authorize benefits for MA plans that are not provided for traditional Medicare, and reduce the $141 billion annual federal wrong and improper payments (particularly the $90 billion attributable to Medicare and Medicaid) and sequester the saving to be used to eliminate the 75-year deficit for Medicare Part A and B, then Medicare Part D. 3) Lobbying to protect retirees when a pension plan sponsor does "de-risking", the action to replace a pension plan with a lump sum buyout and/or converting to a life insurance annuity. The NRLN wants individuals to have the option to remain as plan participants. If an annuity is selected the plan must purchase reinsurance from a separate, highly-rated insurer to guarantee the payment of benefits, in case of default by the initial life insurance company. 4) When retirees receive their first pension check, they trust the amount shown on the check will be what they should receive monthly. Far too often, pension plan sponsors later find an error in the pension payment calculation and force retirees to pay back thousands of dollars and suffer a large cut in benefits as well. Attendees lobbied for legislation to indemnify individual plan participants from the requirement to refund overpayments by instructing actuaries to account for recoupment as a pension plan funding risk. 5) Lobbying to amend the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) of 1986 and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 to allow employers with generously overfunded pension plans to use a portion of the plan's surplus assets to fund retiree benefits, such as, health care and life insurance. Bill Kadereit, President National Retiree Legislative Network We need your committed support to: NRLN Action Alerts, https://www.nrln.org/SE.html#/

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