COLA Base Update

- Association officials continue to work closely with the Joint
Committee on Public Service to draft legislation raising the COLA base
to a higher level in 2006.

In October,
the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC) issued
a report calling for an increase in the current $12,000 COLA base to a
level of $16,000. This comprehensive report was the result of more than
a year of analysis.

Public Service
Chairmen Rep. Jay Kaufman (D-Lexington) and Senator Patricia Jehlen
(D-Somerville) are expected to request further financial data from
PERAC that will show how the cost of raising the base can be absorbed
into the state's pension funding schedule. A modest increase in the
base of $4,000 would result in an additional cost of $100 million a

"We anticipate that Public
Service will be ready to advance a bill raising the base early in
2006," said Association President Ralph White. "Once the funding data
come back, they will be able to focus on drafting an actual bill."