COLA

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

Retirement Board to again take up COLA

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.

Dedham Approves $15,000 COLA Base

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.

Tempers rise -- but not pensions for Leominster

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.

Governor Baker Supports FY15 COLA

Also Maintains State Retiree Insurance % In Budget Proposal

MAY 2015 VOICE: In his first budget proposal, Governor Charlie Baker has proposed a full 3% COLA for state and teacher retirees to be paid beginning in July on the existing $13,000 base.

Baker is the first Republican governor since Jane Swift to support retiree COLAs. Former Governor Mitt Romney failed to provide for a retiree COLA in each of his four annual budget proposals.

Baker Proposes 3% State-Teacher COLA

FY16 Budget Takes Effect July 1, 2015

MARCH 4, 2015: Governor Charlie Baker has included a full 3% COLA for retired state employees and teachers in his FY16 budget proposal filed today. The COLA would be applied to a $13,000 base.

COLAs for local, county, regional and district retirees are established locally and administrated by local retirement systems. At the local level the COLA base ranges from $12,000 to $18,000 – an amount determined by the retirement board and local legislative body.

Leominster Retirement Board hit over pension-hike denial

By Jack Minch

LEOMINSTER -- A statewide association representing retired municipal employees is criticizing the city's Retirement Board for voting in July not to give retirees a cost-of-living pay increase in their pensions for the fifth straight year.

Leominster's COLA Denial For Fifth Year Unconsionable

Mayor Mazzarella Controlled Board Manipulates Funding Schedule and Treats Retirees as Second Rate

SEPTEMBER 2014 VOICE: By any fair measure, five years is a considerable amount of time. It’s half a decade, longer than a presidential or gubernatorial term in office and exceeds the time spent in high school or college. For Leominster’s retirees and survivors five years may only be the beginning of their wait for a modest and much needed cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

2014 COLA Approved For July Checks

3% For Most Retirees & Survivors

JULY 18, 2014: With the approval of a 3% COLA for state and teacher retirees contained in the FY15 budget signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick on July 11, members can be assured of receiving a new COLA payment in their July pension check. The state has maintained the COLA base at $13,000, thus setting the maximum annual COLA at $390. Eligible retirees for the 2014 COLA are those having retired prior to July 1, 2013.

Budget Accord Reached

Healthcare Contribution Moratorium Approved

JUNE 30, 2014: House and Senate budget negotiators reached an agreement on the Commonwealth’s $36.4 billion fiscal 2015 budget over the weekend. The measure will be approved by both the House and Senate, and then sent to Governor Patrick later today.

Calls For Improving Social Security COLA

Triggers State/Teachers' and Local COLAs

MARCH 2014 VOICE: For some time, we’ve seen where the formula for calculating Social Security COLA (Cost-of-Living-Adjustment) benefits has been under attack as being too generous. Now there is push back against this criticism, with calls by some officials, most notably our senior US Senator Elizabeth Warren, to improve Social Security’s COLA.