The Port Authority Retirees Association, Inc. (PARA), is a not-for-profit corporation formed in Spring 1987 to promote the welfare of retirees of the Port Authority and its subsidiary, PATH. PARA advocates on behalf of Port Authority retirees by maintaining relationships with the Port Authority of NY&NJ, a key provider of benefits for employees and retirees, and by monitoring legislation and other administrative changes that could affect the benefits of Port Authority and PATH retirees.
PARA has some 4,000 members residing in 39 states and 12 countries. It maintains an active affiliation with the Retired Public Employees Association (RPEA) and the Alliance of Public Retiree Organizations (APRO) representing some 500,000 retirees and beneficiaries in the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS). PARA is managed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors, elected by its membership. PARA welcomes members from the Port Authority and PATH retiree communities, as well as from active employees. Membership is on an individual basis.
PARA’s roots go back to a concerted effort in 1987 with RPEA to protect NYS pensions, and to advocate for a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) beyond that. At that time, a group of eight retirees organized a volunteer effort to lobby on behalf of the more than 3,000 Port Authority retirees at that time, and created PARA in the process. In the late 1980’s, PARA and RPEA officers were instrumental in creating another group, the Alliance of Public Retiree Organizations (APRO), that included the Retired Teachers Association, the Retired Police Association and many other retiree groups, representing more than 500,000 retirees in New York State. Their combined efforts were successful, in that the NYS pensions were protected, and a modified COLA for pensions up to $18,000 was enacted into law.
In 2017, PARA created an information campaign to encourage PA retirees to vote against a referendum that appeared on the November 7 ballot, a referendum that would have opened up New York State’s Constitution via the creation of a Constitutional Convention. Such a Constitutional Convention could have exposed provisions in the State’s Constitution to be revised, replaced or repealed, thus endangering previously protected rights and benefits, including the New York State pension benefit. PARA collaborated with a broad spectrum of organizations in New York State to lobby against this referendum by getting out the vote against it. The referendum was defeated.
In 2016, PARA was invited to join the Port Authority’s 9/11 commemoration program, specifically the Remembrance through Renewal activities. These activities were designed to pay tribute to the 84 members of the PA family whom we lost that day by assisting local community improvement efforts. PARA expanded its participation in the 20th anniversary of the Port Authority’s tribute to include several more 9/11 commemoration activities including the Candlight walk, the Rose ceremony and other 9/11-related events. PARA will continue our tradition working with the PA to honor those we lost.
PARA exists today because of dedicated volunteers, helping the greater retiree community access accurate information about their benefits. These benefits are provided by many entities, including but not limited to: the Port Authority, the New York State Retirement System, the Social Security Administration, Medicare, and the Railroad Retirement Administration.
PARA collaborates with the Port Authority’s Human Resources Department to communicate and clarify retiree benefits programs and policies for PARA members. We do this in many practical ways:
The Port Authority Retirees Association, Inc. (PARA) provides an active and vigorous voice for Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and PATH retirees and a means for them to act together for their mutual benefit. PARA maintains a liaison with the Port Authority (hereafter referred to as “agency”) while monitoring government and agency retirement and benefit policies and procedures.
PARA works with other retiree organizations to promote the welfare of retirees by reviewing proposed legislation and agency rules so as to effectively support those beneficial to retirees and oppose those deemed harmful. PARA aids retirees vigilantly to be aware of, understand and comply with retirement system and benefit programs requirements through varied effective communication methods.
PARA further volunteers its members to assist the Port Authority in various programs, including those aimed at fostering current employee morale, community programs in areas served by agency facilities and in programs to honor Port Authority history and 9/11 commemorative activities.
Click on the names of the board members for their individual profiles.