The RPOE Story
In January 2009 in an Italian Restaurant meeting room on North Lincoln Boulevard, eight people met to discuss the possibility of starting a retired member services under the umbrella of Professional Oklahoma Educators (POE). After the decision to move forward and with a President and Secretary in place, the remainder of the year was spent in a planning and organizational mode. In 2010 RPOE was launched “full steam ahead” and has grown to around 600 members. Most RPOE members are those retired educators who were POE members during their active years, but many who were not affiliated with the parent organization have also come aboard sighting traditional values and non-union connections as their primary interests. One of RPOE's most attractive benefits is the legal consultation available through the legal department, but members also enjoy lobbying representation at the State Capitol, newsletters with helpful updates, access to discounts and more. As we grow and serve our members in a caring and professional manner, playing even a small part in making their retirement fulfilling and rewarding, the RPOE story will continue.
Tell Lawmakers to Vote No on HB 2293
HB 2293, which is currently working its way through the legislative process will not be good for the health of our retirement system. The aim of the bill is to exempt an employer from paying their matching share of an employee’s teacher retirement when their salary is paid with funds from an externally funded program. The problem here is that federal regulations permit an employer to use federal dollars to satisfy the Teacher’s Retirement System of Oklahoma (OTRS) requirements unless dollars from “like” programs are also used to meet retirement system requirements.
The problem for our retirement system in all this is that it must not pass in its current form. That would mean that it would be necessary for OTRS to make up any shortfall in contributions as it is now. This would mean a hit of approximately $28 million. No doubt, future COLAs for retired teachers could be in jeopardy.
More actuarial study is in order before any legislation becomes official. Accordingly, I urge you to contact the office of your Representative and Senator asking them to oppose this bill.
Here are additional resources from OTRS:
As we continue to grow, we find our members scattered not only from one side of the state of Oklahoma to the other, but also into at least a dozen other states. It is rewarding to see how our members, although education careers are behind them, remain interested in staying connected to the latest developments in their profession. It is a pleasure to do our small part of keeping education issues, goals and pertinent news of the day before our members. It is also a pleasure to offer our free legal consultation services through our legal department. Our attorneys are second to none when it comes to serving our members. They take that responsibility very seriously.
RPOE Legislative Goals
Discount for Members
RPOE members are entitled to numerous discounts on a wide array of consumer products including lodging, travel, electronics, insurance and many other popular items. You can access these discounts online by visiting Member Perks.