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

3% State / Teacher COLA Approved

Work Now Underway On Future COLA Improvements

September 2019: Since the state budget was not be approved by Governor Charlie Baker until July 31st, retired teachers will not receive their COLA payment until August – which is retroactive to July 1.

State retirees, along with members of local and district retirement systems began to receive their FY20 COLA in their July pension check. The annual COLA for local and district retirees is determined and approved by the respective retirement board and is not part of the Commonwealth’s annual budget process.

New COLAs Adopted By All Local Retirement Boards

Entering Their Third Decade of Increases

SEPTEMBER 2019: Not to be outdone by the state and teachers’ retirement systems, all 102 local retirement boards adopted a new COLA beginning this July. If you retired from a local system before July 1, 2018, then you will see an increase in your monthly direct deposit or check.

Local boards are currently in the third decade of adopting such increases. They’ve been able to do so since 1997 when our landmark legislation, Chapter 17, was enacted.

Legislature Approves FY20 Budget; Includes 3% State & Teacher COLA

Legislature Approves FY20 Budget; Includes 3% State & Teacher COLA

To Be Paid in August and Retroactive To July 1

JULY 23, 2019: State & Teacher retirees are set to receive their 21st consecutive annual COLA. On Monday, the legislature approved the $43.1 billion Fiscal Year 2020 budget, which contains the 3% COLA on a $13,000 base.

State Lawmakers Reach Compromise On $43.1 Billion State Budget

STATEHOUSE, BOSTON, JULY 21, 2019 (STATEHOUSE NEWS SERVICE) – Three weeks after the start of the new fiscal year, Democratic leaders finalized a fiscal 2020 budget agreement over the weekend to end a weeks-long stalemate and authorize $43.1 billion in state government spending over the next year.

Treasurer Goldberg Delivers July COLA

Treasurer Goldberg Delivers July COLA

3% For State & Teacher Retirees

Thanks to State Treasurer Deb Goldberg, as well as the State Employees and Teachers Retirement Boards, the July pension checks of over 127,000 State and Teacher retirees will contain the 3% COLA.

Annual COLA approval for both State and Teacher retirees is handled through the State Budget. Despite being approved in all three versions of the FY19 State Budget (Governor, House, and Senate), this year’s 3% COLA payment was stuck in limbo as budget negotiations extended into mid-July.

State Budget Deal Reached

State Budget Deal Reached

3% State & Teacher COLA Retroactive to July 1

JULY 18, 2018: House and Senate budget negotiators have reached agreement finalizing the $41.88 billion FY19 State Budget. Both branches of the legislature approved the budget today. Governor Charlie Baker now has 10 days in which to review the document, before taking executive action. 

In passing the budget, the legislature has approved a full 3% COLA on a $13,000 base for State and Teacher retirees, who retired prior to July 1, 2017.  

Trump thanks federal employees with $143.5 billion in retirement cuts

By Joe Davidson, Washington Post 

President Trump really knows how to say thank you.

Just as festivities geared up for Public Service Recognition Week, which began Sunday, his administration sent a letter to Congress proposing $143.5 billion in compensation cuts for federal employees. 

Future State and Teachers' COLA Base Hurdles

Challenges In Achieving Higher Amounts

It’s been five and a half years – July 2012 to be exact – since state and teacher retirees saw a permanent increase in their COLA Base from $12,000 to $13,000. Naturally our state and teacher members are wondering when will the COLA Base be increased.

Negotiations Continue Over FY18 State Budget

Negotiations Continue Over FY18 State Budget

3% State & Teacher COLA Awaits Final Approval

 JULY 6, 2017: Mass Retirees officials are closely monitoring developments on Beacon Hill, where House and Senate Conferees continue to negotiate the final details of the Fiscal Year 2018 State Budget.

Saugus retiree increase warranted

JUNE 15, 2017: The approval of the Saugus retiree COLA cap from the $12,000 to $14,000 was reasonable, overdue and justified because of the current financial success of the Saugus retirement system.