The mission of the American Retirees Education Foundation is to research, educate and inform retirees, future retirees and the general public on how best to protect and promote retirement income security and retiree health care. The Foundation will develop and advocate policy recommendations based on its research findings to relevant constituency groups, the media, the general public, and Federal and state policymakers.
AREF Mission Is Not…
we're not allowed to lobby members of Congress, their staffs or Congressional Committees. The bottom line is that the AREF is not allowed to lobby for passage of legislation or regulations.
AREF Is A Tax-Exempt Organization
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has approved the American Retirees Education Foundation (AREF) as a tax-exempt organization that is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable donations. Click on the "Tax- Deductible Information" tab above to read and copy three important IRS approval documents.
Support AREF Through Christmas Gifts Shopping from AmazonSmile
By purchasing Christmas gifts form AmazonSmile through https://smile.amazon.com/ch/47-2146998 Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price, with no additional cost to you, to the American Retirees Education Foundation (AREF) the research and education arm of the National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN). For details on AmazonSmile, click here.You may also make a direct tax-deductible contribution to the AREF at: www.SeniorsAREF.org/donations.html . AREF certification information regarding tax deductibility can be found at www.SeniorsAREF.org under the Tax-Deductible Information tab.
AREF APPEAL LETTER
To: Retirees or Future Retirees December 2021
Although the COVID-19 pandemic continued into 2021, the American Retirees Education Foundation (AREF), the research and education arm of the National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN), has had a productive year, we can’t wait to make our case for change in 2022 at the usual spring/fall NRLN fly-ins to Washington, D.C.
However, Covid has made our ability to raise revenue very difficult so we hope you will be generous and make a tax-deductible donation to the AREF this year. There are four ways that can be accomplished:
Make a tax-deductible donation to the AREF by mailing a check or make an online AREF donation with your credit card. Click on the “Donations” tab, scroll down the webpage and click the “Donate” icon.
You can benefit the AREF every time you make Amazon online purchases through AmazonSmile! AREF qualifies for AmazonSmile to donate 0.5% of your purchase price to the AREF, you get Amazons’ best prices. Go to smile.amazon.com to sign up. AREF’s IRS EIN number is 47-2146998.
Portions of IRA Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs), bequests and grants from public and private foundations are another way to help. If you give to charity why not take the deduction you know is working for your income and healthcare security. You may require documents to make transactions - they are available at www.seniorsAREF.org under the “Tax-Deductible Information” tab.
If you are interested in including the AREF in a will or trust, see your tax advisor. You may send an email to me at: chairman@seniorsAREF.org, we may be able to provide guidance or references.
AGAIN, SIGN UP FOR AMAZONSMILE, 0.5% OF YOUR CHRISTMAS PURCHASES WILL HELP!
Click here to print an AREF donation form or make a donation with your credit card.
In 2021, the AREF updated six white papers and distributed them to help NRLN’s Lobbying:
-- Pension Plan Risks in Mergers, Acquisitions and Spin-offs greatly increase the risk of a distress terminations and the loss of benefits. The white paper explains that Congress needs to update ERISA provisions to ensure this activity does not increase the risk of a distress termination and permanent pension losses.
-- Defined Benefit Pension Plan Mergers – This white paper focused on merging of pension plans to benefit plan sponsors by combining plans with different levels of assets and liabilities. Proposed actions are identified to prevent defined-benefit plan mergers from damaging the vested rights of pension plan participants.
-- Protecting Retiree Benefits in Bankruptcy – Bankruptcy courts view their priority as facilitating the company’s survival, judges are inclined to agree to management’s request to terminate promised pensions. The white paper proposes how to prevent the gap in the legal protections from terminating plans in bankruptcy.
-- Pension plan Derisking – this whitepaper covers complex ways that plans can become underfunded where participant benefits are subject to annuitization (voluntary termination) or at risk to termination in bankruptcy courts (distress terminations). It proposes statutory remedies that would secure pension benefits.
-- Congress and President Must Act to Reduce Price of Prescription Drugs – This white paper documents that Congress has not done what it must to reduce the price of medicines. The NRLN’s proposals included 1. Remove the prohibition on Medicare negotiating prescription drug prices and replace it with a competitive bidding mandate. 2. End pay-for-delay and other brand-name drug maker tactics that keep generic drugs off the market. 3. Allow Americans to import safe prescription drugs from licensed Canadian pharmacies.
-- Time to End Taxpayer Rebates to the Private Healthcare Insurance Industry – This white paper supports these NRLN positions: 1. Healthcare costs are rising four times faster than Medicare enrollees. 2. Medicare Advantage (MA) plan market share is 43.1% (24.9 million enrollees and $370 billion revenue) in 2021. 3. After 24 years and over $450 billion in taxpayer rebates, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) payments per MA enrollee in 2021 was 104% of payments made to original Medicare enrollees. 4. Taxpayer revenue pays for MA plan extra benefits (dental, eyecare, hearing care, carpet cleaning, gym memberships etc.…) for 24 million but are denied to 40 million others in original Medicare by congress. 5. With MA plan market share at 43.1% it’s time to stop, subsidized growth can no longer be justified!
The AREF and NRLN partnered to get two proposals in S.1770, Retirement Security and Savings Act. Today pension plan fiduciaries must recoup overpayments with few restrictions. The bill stipulates a fiduciary does not have to recoup but if it chooses to, it must be done within three years of the initial overpayment (there’s no limit today) and companies may not recoup more than 10% of the overpayment per year and may not recoup against a beneficiary of a pension plan participant. The other NRLN proposal in this bill would promote funding of healthcare and life insurance benefits by amending the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 420 to set the surplus transfer limit at 110%.
A letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged her to add a low out-of-pocket cap to original Medicare and ban pre-existing condition requirements for Medicare supplemental insurance in her healthcare reform agenda and included a copy of NRLN’s whitepaper Medicare Out-of-Pocket Health Cost Limits, The Unfinished Business of Protecting Medicare Beneficiaries from Catastrophic Health Care Costs. The AREF created an online survey to help make a case for adding Medicare out-of-pocket caps.
On November 3, the AREF filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in support of Delphi retirees.
It has been my pleasure to help make a difference this year, please help by funding the resources that our volunteers need to serve you in 2022.
Bill Kadereit, AREF Chairman and President and NRLN President