The Retired Public Employees Council of Washington (RPEC) was formed in 1971 as an organization to promote the interests of retired state, county, city and local government employees. RPEC was formally incorporated in July 1978, under the laws of the state of Washington as a non-profit corporation, to operate for charitable, social and educational purposes. In September 1979, RPEC affiliated with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME, AFL-CIO). We also are affiliated with the Washington State Labor Council. RPEC is a member of the Alliance for Retired Americans, the Washington Senior Citizens’ Lobby and Public Employees for Pension Responsibility (PEPR), a coalition of organizations representing active employees and retirees who belong to the Washington State Retirement Systems. RPEC currently has over 30 Chapters statewide with nearly 10,000 members.
Purpose: (Mission Statement)
Our mission is to unite retired public employees for their mutual benefit and welfare. We do this by promoting legislation to improve financial and medical benefits, providing information to and otherwise supporting members, and working closely with other organizations.
The Retired Public Employees Council of Washington is the only organization dedicated solely to the issues directly affecting PERS retirees.
RPEC is a dynamic organization which is taking the necessary steps to reach its great potential. The organization is highly respected both as a political force and as a recognized leader in retiree issues, not only with our elected officials but with other active and retired employee organizations as well.
In large part, due to RPEC’s efforts, the Legislature:
- Passed a law giving political subdivision retirees the right to participate in their employers’ health care plans.
- Secured the adoption of the Uniform Plan I COLA in 1995.
- Committed to fully funding the retirement systems.
- Added a retiree member to the Public Employees Benefits Board which oversees the state’s health insurance plans.
In 1998, RPEC won a settlement to a a lawsuit against the State of Washington worth $42.5 million. The state had overcharged some retirees for their health care premiums. Money was returned to eligible retirees. Appointment of an RPEC member to the Select Committee on on Pension Policy.
What do we do?
Among other things:
- On behalf of our members, we track legislation on pensions, health care and other areas critical to retirees. We propose legislation to assist retirees and oppose bills which may harm them.
- We pursue legal actions when necessary, maintain a legislative hotline during the session and issue a quarterly newsletter to keep our members informed and up-to-date.
Our Current Focus:
- Return governance of the pension funds to an independent board whose members include retired and active public employees.
- Improve employer contribution rates and PERS COLAs (cost of living adjustments).
- Pass legislation allowing retirees from political subdivisions access to the health care insurance they had while employed. (ESSB5777 3/11/2002)
- Reduce the cost of prescription medications.
- Advocate for retirees on issues such as Medicare, Social Security and prescription medication coverage.
- We have a staff available to assist members Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm. Please see our Council page.
- Our local chapters meet regularly where members share common interests and comraderie.
- Our Executive Board is composed of retirees and meets on a quarterly basis.
- Our AFSCME affiliation offers over a dozen benefits, including free legal service and other special offers.