Chair Talk

September 2013

On Wednesday, September 4th I was invited to speak at the DNR/DEQ Retirees Association. This organization has been in existence since 1962 and is made up of state retirees that worked in the Departments of Natural Resources and Environmental Quality. Many of those attending were not SERA members and some had never heard of us. There were some in attendance that were members of SERA. They had invited me to talk about the SERA organization and explain our purpose and mission. I was well received and hope that I convinced some to go through the SERA PLUS program and join our organization.

You should receive a Retiree Benefits Bulletin sometime this month. There are no changes in premiums, deductibles or co-pays. However, there may be some premium increases for the HMO’s. I have not seen the rates as yet.

There have been some issues with the Preventive Services exams/lab tests. I will be meeting with BC/BS and Employee Benefits next week to find out what the issues are.

Gary Supanich, the attorney that has filed the Pension Lawsuit will be attending the SERA Executive Board meeting on September 6, 2013 to give us an update on the current status of the lawsuit.

The first hearing on the pension tax lawsuit (Okrie v State of Michigan) will be held on:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 2:30 p.m.

The hearing will be held at:

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina’s Courtroom, Third Floor
Veteran’s Memorial Courthouse
313 W. Kalamazoo Street, Lansing

We are encouraging SERA members and retirees to attend this hearing and show our support. Updates on the status of the lawsuit will be posted on SERA’s website (

Editor’s note: Bob Kopasz is Chair of the Michigan SERA Council. He may be reached at P.O. Box 692, Mt. Morris, MI 48458; phone 810/240-8380.