COLA

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

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.

FEDS ANNOUNCE 2014 CPI: 1.5%

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.

HAVERHILL CITY COUNCIL TABLES COLA BASE VOTE

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.

FALL LEGISLATIVE SESSION BEGINS

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).

PATRICK SIGNS FY14 BUDGET

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.

COMMITTEE FOCUSES ON KEY ASSOCIATION INITIATIVES

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.

LEGISLATURE APPROVES 3% STATE/TEACHER COLA

Systems On Track For July Payment

JULY 1, 2013: The House and Senate approved a full 3% COLA on a $13,000 base for state and teacher retirees effective this July. Eligible retirees and survivors should receive the first payment in the July pension check, which is issued at the end of the month.

HOUSE APPROVES 3% STATE/TEACHER COLA

37 Local Systems Adopt July Increase

APRIL 25, 2013: This week, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed the $34 billion state budget for Fiscal Year 2014, which begins July 1. Contained within the budget is a full 3% COLA for eligible state and teacher retirees, which will be applied to a $13,000 base.

GOVERNOR PROPOSES 3% STATE & TEACHER COLA

Budget Also Includes Full GIC Funding

JANUARY 24, 2013: Governor Deval Patrick proposed a full 3% COLA increase for eligible state and teacher retirees within his FY 2014 budget proposal filed on Wednesday. In November 2011, the state increased the COLA base for state and teacher retirees to $13,000.

COLA's for municipal and county retirees are the responsibility of local retirement systems. At this time, a number of local systems have begun discussions to approve a 3% COLA for their retirees come July 1.

INROADS MADE ON COLA BASE

Counties Are Best Success Story

SEPTEMBER 2012 VOICE: When the Commonwealth’s 103 local retirement systems were released from the shackles of our restrictive $12,000 COLA base in Year 2010 a rare opportunity presented itself to the 103 retirement boards governing these systems.

In the two years (July 2011, July 2012) that have elapsed since the enabling legislation was enacted (Ch 188 Acts of 2010) a total of 39 retirement boards have been able to take advantage of this law.