Friday, February 22, 2013

Register to Attend the 2013 Reunion

Reunion registration forms for the June 7-9-2013 reunion will go out in email this weekend. And, for those who do not have an email address, they'll also be going out in USPS. The Registration fee for EACH attendee will be $75.  That fee will cover the meet 'n' greet on Friday evening, and the banquet meal on Saturday evening.  To get the price down, we've opted not to hire a professional photographer and will be taking our own digital photos throughout the event.  We'll post all the photos out to the website after the reunion for folks to download. Folks who do not have internet connections will be able to order/purchase a CD or DVD of the photos (that will be mailed subsequent to the reunion).

Roger Rock will need to receive your reunion registration form and registration fees by no later than May 17th to be able to confirm meal counts and pre-pay the hotel for those meals per our contract.  That means folks who'll be attending will need to get their registration fees in the mail by no later than May 10th to ensure Roger receives them in time to reserve the correct number of meals and pay that bill.

The Reunion Registration and Hotel Room Registration are two separate processes.  Please note that you'll need to make your room reservations directly with the hotel.  You can do that by calling the Radisson Hotel-Branson:  (800) 395-7046.  Don't forget to use your Group Code: 70ENGR to get our preferred room rates:
  • King/Double - $89 ...  ~$99.33 after taxes
  • Leisure Suite - $129 ...  ~$143.97 after taxes
  • Presidential Suite - $169 ... ~$188.61 after taxes
Please note that the above room rates apply not just for June 7-9, 2013, but also apply both immediately before and after the event, from June 4th through June 12th.  So ... if you'd like to extend your stay and enjoy the surrounding area or a show or two, you'll be able to do that at more affordable rates than you'd be able to get on your own.

Branson, MO is known as a music haven, and the Radisson Hotel–Branson offers a prime location in the theater district – ideal for guests who want to take in toe-tapping shows. The city also offers a variety of shopping, golf, historic and natural attractions, and is just minutes from Branson Landing and Silver Dollar City Theme Park. Our concierge can help procure tickets to many of the local shows and attractions, and we offer great hotel packages as well.

Guest rooms and suites feature complimentary high-speed, wireless Internet access, 37" TVs and more. They also offer rooms featuring Sleep Number Beds, allowing you to adjust the firmness of your mattress to your exact level of comfort.

Hotel services/ facilities include a heated indoor/outdoor pool (so bring your swimsuits), wireless Internet access (not just in your room but in public areas as well), whirlpool, sauna, full-service concierge desk, Fitness Center and a Business Center. Plus, the hotel is “pet-friendly.” There is, however, a $30 pet fee assessed for your stay.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Social Security Earnings for Veterans

From the Social Security Web Site

Since 1957, if you had military service earnings for active duty (including active duty for training), you paid Social Security taxes on those earnings. Since 1988, inactive duty service in the Armed Forces reserves (such as weekend drills) has also been covered by Social Security.

Under certain circumstances, special extra earnings for your military service from 1957 through 2001 can be credited to your record for Social Security purposes. These extra earnings credits may help you qualify for Social Security or increase the amount of your Social Security benefit. Special extra earnings credits are granted for periods of active duty or active duty for training. Special extra earnings credits are not granted for inactive duty training. If your active military service occurred:

  • From 1957 through 1967, SSA will add the extra credits to your record when you apply for Social Security benefits. 
  • From 1968 through 2001, you do not need to do anything to receive these extra credits. The credits were automatically added to your record.
How You Get Credit For Special Extra Earnings 
The information that follows applies only to active duty military service earnings from 1957 through 2001. 
Here's how the special extra earnings are credited on your record:
  • Service in 1957 through 1977—You are credited with $300 in additional earnings for each calendar quarter in which you received active duty basic pay. 
  • Service in 1978 through 2001—For every $300 in active duty basic pay, you are credited with an additional $100 in earnings up to a maximum of $1,200 a year. If you enlisted after September 7, 1980, and didn't complete at least 24 months of active duty or your full tour, you may not be able to receive the additional earnings. Check with Social Security for details.
  • Note: Change in special military service credits. In January 2002, Public Law 107-117, the Defense Appropriations Act, stopped the special extra earnings that have been credited to military service personnel. Military service in calendar year 2002 and future years no longer qualifies for these special extra earnings credits.
Please share this with anyone who's had active duty service prior to January 2002 and planning for retirement. In a nutshell it boils down to this: You qualify for a higher social security payment because of your military service, for active duty any time from 1957 through 2001 (the program was done away with in January 2002). Up to $1,200 per year of earnings credit is credited at time of application - which can make a substantial difference in social security monthly payments upon your retirement. 

You must bring your DD-214 to the Social Security Office - and you must ask for this benefit to receive it! Go to this Social Security website:

This is something to put in your files for when you apply for Social Security own the road.  It is NOT just for retirees, BUT anyone who has served on active duty prior to January 2002. 

FYI - this benefit is not automatic, you must ask for it!