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

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.

Gov. Patrick Files Final Budget Proposal

Includes 3% COLA & Funding Schedule Changes

JANUARY 22, 2014: Within the final budget proposal of his eight-year tenure as governor, Deval Patrick chose to include two provisions of critical long term importance to public retirees and surviving spouses.

As he has consistently done in the past, the governor has recommended a full 3% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for state and teacher retirees who retired before July 1, 2013. Like 2013, the new COLA will be paid on a base of $13,000.


No Increase For Medicare Part B Premium

OCTOBER 30, 2013: Today, the Social Security Administration announced that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the previous 12 months (September ’12 to Oct ’13) is 1.5%. The announcement follows recent reports by the Federal Reserve detailing historically low inflation.


Base Increase Opposed By Mayor Fiorentini

SEPTEMBER 11, 2013: Last night, the Haverhill City Council tabled a request by the Haverhill Retirement Board that would have raised the cost-of-living base for its retirees.

The initiative, voted 3-2 by the Retirement Board, would have increased the base amount, which is currently $12,000, by $1,000 per year for each of the next three years, capping at $15,000 in 2016.


Busy Schedule For Public Service Committee

SEPTEMBER 5, 2013: With the summer recess now in the rearview mirror, the state Legislature has returned to Beacon Hill with an aggressive fall agenda.

On Tuesday, September 10th, the Joint Committee on Public Service will reconvene with what is expected to be a lengthy public hearing in the State House’s Gardner Auditorium. Association officials will be on hand to testify on further increases to the COLA base (S1259 & S1263) and the Option B & C recalculation (H2235).


3% State & Teacher COLA Approved

JULY 12, 2013: Governor Deval Patrick has approved the FY 14 3% COLA for state and teacher retirees. Eligible retirees and survivors (retired before 7/1/12) will receive the increase, which is set on a $13,000 base, in their July pension check.

The annual COLA for state and teacher retirees is contained within the state’s annual budget appropriation. It was first proposed by Patrick in January, and then unanimously endorsed by the House and Senate.


COLA, Option C & Life Insurance Get Early Hearing

JULY 2013 VOICE: The Joint Committee on Public Service kicked-off its 2013 schedule with a public hearing that focused on thirty-seven bills earmarked for early action. Each are bills that received a favorable report from the Committee during the last legislative session or are issues deemed of pressing nature by the House and Senate Leadership.