The Honorable Kenneth I. Gordon, House Chair
The Honorable Michael D. Brady, Senate Chair
Joint Committee on Public Service
State House, Boston

Delivered electronically

Dear Chair Gordon, Chair Brady, and Distinguished Members of the Committee,

On behalf of the cities and towns of the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Municipal Association greatly appreciates the opportunity to submit the following comments on bills before the Committee. We have significant concerns with any bill that would add to the pension and retiree health insurance liability of cities and towns by moving employees into retirement groups with more generous benefits. As we mentioned in our recent testimony to the Committee, we respectfully ask the Committee to carefully consider the financial impact on cities and towns and their taxpayers when reviewing any legislation that would alter retirement benefits for municipal employees.

The MMA opposes several bills that would move sets of employees from one retirement group into another, including H. 2473, H. 2519 and H. 2575. These bills move certain Group 1 employees to either Group 2 or Group 4 for purposes of retirement. Cities, towns and local taxpayers are already struggling to fund their existing multi-billion-dollar unfunded pension liabilities, and face an equally staggering unfunded obligation for other post-employment benefits (OPEB), most of which is retiree health insurance costs. This change would certainly enhance the retirement benefits for these employees and would allow them to retire early, thus increasing the unfunded municipal pension costs and OPEB liability.

Cities and towns continue to struggle with high inflation, supply chain disruptions, and local revenues capped by Proposition 2½. The MMA respectfully urges you to oppose these bills and not report them out of Committee. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to have your office contact me or MMA Senior Executive and Legislative Director Dave Koffman at or (617) 426-7272, ext. 122, at any time.

Thank you very much for your thoughtful attention to these very important local government concerns.


Geoffrey C. Beckwith
MMA Executive Director & CEO