COLA

Articles about the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees

CPI hits 8.7%

CPI hits 8.7%

October 14, 2022: Thursday morning’s announcement by the Social Security Administration of an 8.7% COLA increase for 2023, while not unexpected, confirms what we already knew – inflation has placed substantial financial pressure on retirees. In fact, an 8.7% Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the largest increase since 1981, when inflation hit 11.2%!

Retirees were heard

Retirees were heard

9/9/22 Weekly Update: By CEO Shawn Duhamel

Before I jump into the news of the week, let me first remind everyone that our Annual Meeting takes place today (Friday) at Lombardo’s in Randolph. The meeting will kick off at 11AM. As is the case at all Mass Retirees meetings, members can bring a guest.

5% COLA For State and Teacher Retirees: Local Option Pending in Senate

September 2022 Voice: During the summer of 2021, as serious signs of inflation began to become evident, Mass Retirees put a plan in place to build the case for improvements to the COLA starting in Fiscal Year 2023. These efforts paid off with the passage of a 5% COLA, signed into law by Governor Baker in late July.

Backed by historically high pension fund investment returns over the bulk of the past decade, the Association made the case for sharing the success with retirees in the form of better COLA benefits.

5% COLA approved by legislature

5% COLA approved by legislature

Awaits Approval By Governor Baker

By: Shawn Duhamel, Chief Executive Officer
Mass Retirees Association
Our efforts to pass a 5% COLA for FY23 took a major step forward this week when the legislature unanimously approved the measure as part of the annual the State Budget.

Legislature Approves 5% COLA With Local Option

Legislature Approves 5% COLA With Local Option

Budget Measure Now Before Governor Baker

JULY 18, 2022: Late Sunday evening, House and Senate budget negotiators unveiled a compromise $54 billion FY23 State Budget. The measure contains a 5% COLA for retired State Employees and Teachers, as well as a local option provision authorizing the 102 local retirement boards to pay an FY23 COLA from 3-5%. The 3-5% increase for local retirement systems for FY’23 is an option, not a mandate. It allows them to give up to a 5% COLA this year if they so choose. 

House Approves Largest COLA Increase Since 1992

House Approves Largest COLA Increase Since 1992

Local Retirement Systems Empowered to Increase COLA Up To 5% 

APRIL 27, 2022: Today, the Massachusetts House of Representatives unanimously approved a 5% increase in the FY23 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for State and Teacher Retirees. The measure also contains authorization for the state’s 102 local retirement systems to increase local COLAs from 3-5% by a majority vote of the retirement board.

COLA improvements pending before House

COLA improvements pending before House

APRIL 22, 2022: After nearly a year of preparation by our Association, debate is about to begin in the House of Representatives on proposals that would make improvements to the annual COLA benefit paid to public retirees. Mass Retirees has sponsored two amendments to the House FY23 budget - #1136 filed by Representative Ken Gordon and #1411 filed by Representative Mark Cusack.

Before I get into the specifics of the two amendments, let me first remind you of two upcoming Mass Retirees meetings.

House FY23 Budget Contains 3% State and Teacher COLA

House FY23 Budget Contains 3% State and Teacher COLA

Amendments Filed to Improve COLA Benefits 

APRIL 19, 2022: On Wednesday the House released their version of the Fiscal Year 2023 state budget. This marks the next stage of the budget process, which began in January when Governor Baker filed his proposal. The $49.6 billion dollar budget included two items of significance to retirees. First, as in the Governor’s proposal, the House fully funded the Group Insurance Commission, making sure health insurance will once again remain stable. 

Pension Fund Gains Added $70 Billion Over 10 Years

Pension Fund Gains Added $70 Billion Over 10 Years

February 17, 2022: The state's pension fund has gained $70.6 billion over the past decade, exceeding its targets by $12 billion after posting the fourth largest annual gain in its history in 2021, fund managers reported on Thursday. Pension Reserve Investment Management Executive Director Michael Trotsky has previously shared that the fund, which pays retirement benefits to state employees and teachers, grew by 20.1 percent after fees in 2021, for a gain of $17.4 billion, and closed the year at a record high $104.3 billion.

COLA: Rising Inflation Adds to Urgency

Janaury 2022 Voice: In the past two editions of The Voice, we documented the outstanding long-term investment success of our Massachusetts public pension systems and our belief that the success can and should be shared with retirees by way of improved COLA benefits. 

However, there is also a downside to a white-hot economy – Inflation!