Articles about the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees
New 5th Member Gives Hope
SEPTEMBER 2016 VOICE: Despite pleas from the Leominster Retirement Board elected members John Perry and William “Tex” Thibodeau, the Mayor’s Board appointment, David LaPlante and his appointed City Comptroller John Richard voted “No” on granting a $360 annual “COLA” increase for this year. This will be the seventh consecutive denial dating back to June, 2010 that both of these members have voted “No”.
SEPTEMBER 2016 VOICE: With next year being the 20th year of local COLAs being granted by the regional and municipal board of trustees, all of the state’s 103 local retirement boards, with Leominster being the one regrettable exception, voted for their new pension cost-of-living (COLA) effective this July. The Governor and the Legislature approved the 3% State and Teachers’ COLAs on the $13,000 base.
Medicare Rates May Increase for Some Retirees
OCTOBER 9, 2015: A flat Consumer Price Index (CPI) means there will be no COLA increase under Social Security for 2016. The CPI-W is the federal standard used to calculate inflation.
Since 1987, a national debate has raged as to whether or not the CPI-W is an accurate gauge for retirees. Many, including our Association, feel a more accurate measure is the CPI-E (Elderly), which looks to inflationary pressures such as healthcare costs that impact retirees on a larger scale.
By Cliff Clark
Sentinel & Enterprise
Treasurer Goldberg to Include Payment in July Pensions
JULY 21, 2014: Following Governor Charlie Baker’s approval of the 3% COLA for state and teacher retirees, Treasurer Deb Goldberg saw to it that the 1st payment for FY16 will be included in the July pension check.
By Cliff Clark, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEOMINSTER -- The third attempt to secure an annual pension increase for city retirees failed like the first two at a meeting Tuesday morning of the city's Retirement Board.
"You ought to be ashamed of yourselves," one person shouted from a crowd of more than 50 city retirees and supporters at the board as three of its members raised their hands to deny city retirees a 1.7 percent cost-of-living increase.
$12,000 COLA Base Created in 1997 Amongst Heavy Opposition
July 2015 Voice: For nearly fifty years our Association has led the fight for cost-of-living benefits for public retirees. During that time several milestones have been reached, whereby COLA benefits have been incrementally increased for retirees.
LEOMINSTER -- Just seven days after the Retirement Board voted down the first cost-of-living increase for city retirees in five years, another attempt will be made at 9 a.m. Tuesday, according to one board member.
"We're going to try again to get a COLA for city retirees," said elected board member John Picone.
During last week's meeting, the board voted twice on proposals to raise the COLA 3 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.
July 2015 Voice: For the second time around, Dedham has increased its COLA Base. First, they went from $12,000 to $13,000 in 2014.
Then at the May Town Meeting, an article, recommended by both the Finance and Warrant Committees, was presented that would raise the Base to $15,000. It prompted a spirited debate.
Among those stepping to the microphone in support of the increase was Selectman Jim McDonald. He said many retirees were living on fixed income and the town should take care of its retired employees who had given a lot to the town.
LEOMINSTER -- Tension between the chairman of the Retirement Board, other board members and city retirees erupted into open hostility at a meeting Tuesday, when another attempt at securing a cost-of-living raise for pensioners failed.
"You've been lying to this board," elected Retirement Board member John Picone said to Chairman John Richard, who is also the city comptroller, in front of more than 40 city retirees in the Council Chambers of City Hall. "You've been lying to me. You've been lying to the people out here for years.