Representatives from 12 universities attended the 2015 Big Ten Retirees Association Conference August 14-16 at Michigan State University (MSU). Retirees’ interests addressed included:

  • An MSU economics professor spoke about decreased state funding for public higher education—down from 70 % to 20 %. Tuition has risen accordingly.
  • “Who’s in Charge of Your Health?” See the new Health Awareness section on page 5 of The Gray Hawk.
  • An MSU professor of English discussed what motivates retirement. Retirement is a time of celebration, and aging is a work in progress. His credo: “Live as well, not as long.”
  • A TIAA/CREF representative discussed aspects of required minimum distribution percentages as required at age 70 " for IRA or 403b accounts.

On the conference’s final day, each university representative spoke about the “drivers” of their associations and shared information concerning:

  • Membership status (most associations include faculty and staff members)
  • Membership numbers (320 members at Indiana up to 5,000 members at Purdue where all retirees automatically become members)
  • Cost of membership ($0 at Purdue, Northwestern, and Rutgers; $10 to $41 per year for others)
  • Types of programs (primarily monthly; newsletters distributed from two to ten times per year)
  • Relationship with their institution (several associations had university staff support for tasks such as mailings and maintenance of membership list).

The 2016 conference will take place August 5-7 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.