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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Pensioners call on House to vote on retirement bill

Genoveva Ríos (Facebook)

By The Star Staff

Numerous organizations representing about 65,000 pensioners in Puerto Rico made an urgent call Wednesday to the island House of Representatives to vote on Senate Bill (SB) 646, which has been under evaluation for two years.

“This bill is crucial to bring justice to more than 70,000 pensioners, including 45,000 teachers, 20,000 police officers and 9,000 retirees from the University of Puerto Rico,” said Armando Montero, spokesman for the Federation of Associated Commonwealth and Management Employees, in a written statement.

SB 646 would allow bonafide pensioners’ organizations to negotiate their members’ health coverage, something that the island Health Insurance Administration has failed to do diligently and effectively, without impacting the public budget, the groups said.

Genoveva Ríos, president of the Association of Former Employees of Partners in Action, noted that the bill has been amended to address all concerns raised during its evaluation.

“We don’t understand the reason why it is not being put to a vote,” Ríos said.

Emilio Nieves, spokesman for the Retirees Chapter of the National Union of Educators and Education Workers, stressed that retired teachers do not have access to any Medicare Advantage plan and must cover their health needs with limited pensions.

“We urge the House of Representatives to act responsibly and committedly by bringing Bill 646 to a vote immediately,” Nieves added.

The spokespeople urged House Speaker Rafael “Tatito” Hernández Montanez, and the chairmen of the House Labor Affairs and Rules & Calendar committees, Reps. Domingo Torres García and Ángel Matos García, respectively, to bring the bill to the floor.

“It is critical that our representatives listen to and address the needs of our pensioners, who deserve dignified and fair access to health coverage,” said Nilda Laureano, president of the Association of Retired Professionals.

More information on the scope of the bill can be found by visiting

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Peter Fonseca
Peter Fonseca

These public servants deserve the best available health care at the lowest feasible cost. There's strength in numbers. I wish them every success.

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