About the NRLN New Mexico Chapter
The NRLN New Mexico Chapter was originally established to reach out to US West/Qwest/CenturyLink retirees who were members of their retirement organization (TRA/AUSWR-AZ), which disbanded. In fact, former TRA/AUSWR-NM members volunteered to be leaders of the NRLN New Mexico Chapter: Cassie Kelley, Marlene Tricoli, Neal Woolman, and Jack Ferguson.
The Chapter also welcomes members from other companies and public entities as long as they are not already members of an NRLN Association (see Member Associations under “about us” at www.nrln.org.) Retirees who become NRLN Chapter members will be informed on federal legislation that impacts their retirement income security and reduce health care cost.
All NM Chapter members are advocates belonging to the NRLN Grassroots Organization Network. Some NRLN NM Grassroots’ advocates volunteer to become AZ Congressional District Leaders and make local visits to their respective Congressional District Offices and may travel to Washington, D.C. to attend an NRLN “Fly-In”. The purpose of these visits are to educate the members of Congress on the NRLN’s Legislative Agenda (see the Legislative Agenda tab under www.nlrn.org), to make them aware of pending legislation that needs support and provide feedback of their performance (see Grassroots tab on www.nrln.org then click on Congressional Report Cards).
The NRLN NM Chapter Member Benefits:
- Members become advocates of the NRLN Grassroots Organization.
- Members have a dedicated website, New Mexico Chapter, for ongoing events and updates accessible from the "Chapters" tab on the NRLN website at www.nrln.com.
- Members will receive an NRLN FOCUS Newsletter three times a year with the New Mexico FOCUS newsletter inserted which provides the happenings and updates specific to New Mexico.
- Members will receive NRLN Action Alerts, and other pertinent information from the NRLN President via email.
- Chapter Leaders will be available as a resource for questions and assistance.
- AZ Congressional District Leaders contact information will be provided on the New Mexico Chapter web page.
- Dedicated Lobbyist located in Washington, D.C. meet regularly with key Congressional committee members to advocate the NRLN's legislative initiatives.
- The NRLN is the only national organization that deals with the whole spectrum of retiree issues (Pensions, Health Care, Social Security, Medicare, and Prescription Drugs). They provide us full professional representation.
- The Chapter will have representation on the NRLN Board of Directors. Martha Deahl, Vice-President, Desert Southwest Region, is on the NRLN Board.
- Chapter Grassroots volunteers who become NM Congressional District Leaders are provided with handout booklets to share with New Mexico Congressional Members during the visits in New Mexico and Washington, D.C. These booklets identify size and intent of the NRLN Network. Visits are made to Congressional offices to request sponsors or co-sponsors for legislation needed and follow-ups continue throughout the year and to provide feedback on their performance.
To become a member of the New Mexico Chapter click below or send an email to NewMexicoChapter@nrln.org with your name, email address, home address and telephone number. Note whether you retired from US West, Qwest, CenturyLink or any other company, or whether you are still employed by the company.
We could use other retirees to help us interface with our NM Senators’ and Representatives’ local offices. If they don’t hear from us, they assume we are happy with what they are doing. We need a voice for all retirees, many of who cannot travel to visit their Senators and Representatives. Please help us spread the word about the NRLN and specifically the NM Chapter and the work we are doing to help protect retirees’ interests. Please discuss our chapter with all your friends and relatives that are retired and give them a copy of the following NRLN NM Chapter Membership Form.
To become a member of the Arizona Chapter click here.
Also, if you would like to go to a local congressional office with your Congressional District leader, please give them a call. We always need constituents to go along on these visits. To find your Congressional District Leader, see the table below.
NRLN NM Chapter Contact List
CenturyLink Looking to Cut 8% of Workforce, or About 3,400
By Scott Moritz, Bloomberg Technology - Sept 16, 2016
NRLN New Mexico Chapter Says – Wake Up NM…
Now is the time for your senators and representatives to hear your voices! Let them know how you feel about their lack of action when it comes to protecting retirees’ benefits.
NRLN Report Cards on New Mexico’s Members of Congress
The following "Report Card" shows whether NM members of Congress sponsored or cosponsored or voted for bills the NRLN supported in the 113th Congress that ended in Dec. 2014. The NRLN is also tracking bills in the 114th for a new "Report Card".
Click here to open the 113th Congress (2013-2014) Senators’ Report Card!
Click here to see the Report Card for the 114th Congress (2015-2016).
Make Your Voice Heard With Members of Congress
You can contact Congress in many ways-- click here to see how!
New Mexico Congressional Members Contact List
(click on names for complete contact info)
New Mexico Chapter Concerns
Pension de-risking is a major concern. De-risking is when an employer defined benefit pension plan sponsor purchases an annuity from an insurance company to replace the retirees’ pension or when the pension plan participants accept a lump sum buy out. De-risking really means that the “risk” is placed on the retirees because they lose the protection of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC). De-risking can happen to anyone currently receiving a pension check. It happened to General Motors and Verizon retirees in 2014. On May 9, 2014, Alcatel-Lucent announced that in 2015 it would offer a lump sum pension buy out to 45,000 out of its 100,000 retirees, former retirees and related beneficiaries.
Further, in August of 2014, HR 5021 was passed, which enables pension plan sponsors to decrease their funding of their respective plans. Then in December 2014, Congress passed and the President signed into law a $1.1 trillion spending bill that included a provision giving trustees of multi-employer defined benefit pension plans the authority to cut benefits to participants in severely underfunded plans. This could also mean that single-employer plans could be de-risked by allowing plan sponsors to cut pension benefits in the future.
The stability of Social Security and Medicare as it exists today, not as a voucher system. We have successfully lobbied against the Chained Consumer Price Index. We also do not agree with raising the retirement age. We have proposed actions to be taken to overcome the funding problems.
Prescription drug costs are outrageous! We support the importation of prescription drugs in a manner, which is safe and under the oversight of the FDA. A big “thank you” to Arizona Senator John McCain, for co-sponsoring S122 which allows for the importation of drugs from Canada. The NRLN supports competitive bidding for prescription drugs in Medicare (S31). We are also working to get legislation passed to stop the “pay for delay” in the introduction of generic drugs.
The pre-existing medical conditions restrictions. These restrictions prevent the switching of Medicare Medigap and Medicare Advantage insurance plans because of a pre-existing medical condition.
Medicare’s 3-day inpatient rule. Currently, Medicare requires a patient to be in an “admitted” status in the hospital before being eligible for skilled nursing facility (SNF) services. Many patients are finding out that they have been in an “observation” status and then sent to an SNF only to find out that Medicare does not cover their care. We are advocating for HR290 which is a bill to correct this problem
- The NRLN has prepared White Papers, which have been presented to congressional members covering all these issues and more. (Click here to see White Papers)