What your membership in
Retired MEA-MFT offers you:
Seminars, benefits, discounts, information, a voice, and protecting your retirement. They're all part of what your Retired MEA-MFT membership offers.
MEA-MFT holds seminars and workshops across the state periodically for our retired and “pre-retired” members.
These events guide you through:
- Pre-retirement financial planning.
- Your benefits under TRS, PERS, or OPR/TIAA-CREF retirement programs.
- How to make the most of NEA Member Benefits and AFT Plus benefits for retired members.
- Legislative updates.
- Post-retirement health care options.
Special benefits and discounts
- You can save hundreds of dollars a year with your NEA and AFT member benefits. Examples:
- Long-term care insurance.
- High-return CDs and money market accounts.
- Medicare supplement programs.
- Term and guaranteed issue life insurance plans.
- Low-cost, high-value credit cards.
- Homeowners and renters insurance.
- Long-term disability and accidental death/dismemberment insurance.
- Discounts on magazine subscriptions, travel, and much more.
- ID theft protection.
- Credit counseling.
Info and news you can use
Retired MEA-MFT members receive regular publications including NEA Today, NEA Retired, and MEA-MFT Today, featuring timely retirement topics.
Retired MEA-MFT members have the strength of our union to help them with concerns about pension benefit adjustments, threats to Social Security, health care costs, and other retirement issues. MEA-MFT gives you a strong voice in policies that affect you.
We work closely with the legislature, Montana Teachers Retirement System, Public Employee Retirement System, and other entities that affect you.
MEA-MFT helps elect people who value public education and our retired members.
Retired MEA-MFT members elect a state chair and vice chair, both of whom sit on the MEA-MFT board of directors. Retired members participate actively in MEA-MFT's representative assembly, helping establish policies and programs.
Protecting your retirement
MEA-MFT has worked tirelessly for years to protect and enhance public employee and teacher retirement assets and benefits. It is our duty as well as our opportunity to do so.
To date, despite recurring economic and political challenges, we have maintained and improved defined benefit plans for the vast majority of folks who work and retire in the Montana public sector.
In 1993, we helped write and lobby through the legislature a proposed constitutional amendment that in 1994 won overwhelming voter support. That amendment—now Article 8, Section 15— secures public employee retirement assets for retirement and nothing else. It also requires that our defined benefit retirement systems be actuarially funded. A huge accomplishment.
In 1997 and 1999, we led two successful legislative efforts to secure a guaranteed annual benefit adjustment (GABA) for retirees in the Public Employees Retirement System and Teachers Retirement System, respectively. For over a decade, it has no longer been true that the first retirement benefit check retired public employees or teachers receive is the best check they will ever receive.
In 2007, we won entirely by ourselves a 1% increase in university contributions to faculty retirement accounts for faculty enrolled in TIAA-CREF—a defined contribution plan. We have a lot more to do here. University faculty, condemned as they are to a grossly under-contributed 401 (k) plan, graphically illustrate why we fight so hard to preserve our defined benefit plans.
Unfortunately, in the past two legislative sessions, tea party politics have seriously challenged our duty and opportunity to protect and enhance public employee and teacher retirement.
In 2011, with considerable help from Governor Brian Schweitzer, we defeated two bills meant to terminate defined benefit plans in PERS and TRS. Both bills would have condemned our existing defined benefit plans to actuarial death and provided new public employees and teachers far fewer retirement benefits 30 years or so down the road.
Today, thousands of Montanans working in the private sector have little in the way of secure employer-provided retirement benefits. Even Social Security is under political attack. Consequently, we must work harder than ever to actuarially fund retirement plans Montana public employees and teachers have long enjoyed and come to expect as a partial reward for the work they do that matters.
As we wade through these difficult times, we will make necessary adjustments in our defined benefit plans, but we will NOT surrender the security and core benefits they provide.
In this regard, we will need the concerted help of all our members, active and retired. Each and every member has the same “duty and opportunity.”
Please join us!
Ready to join Retired MEA-MFT? Here's how.