Articles about the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees
By Andrew Ryan,
June 18, 2012: As cities and states across the nation take aim at public employee pensions, Boston City Hall is engaged in a very different debate: how much to increase retirees’ checks.
Mayor Thomas M. Menino is proposing to boost the annual cost-of-living adjustment for most pensioners from $360 to $390, a $30 increase. City Council president Stephen J. Murphy is pushing for more, seeking a $90 increase over the current rate.
3% COLA Approved & GIC Rates Maintained
APRIL 25, 2012: This week, debate is underway in the House of Representatives over the Fiscal Year 2013 State Budget. The weeklong debate will consider over 850 amendments to the $32 billion budget proposal.
JANUARY 2012 VOICE: As clearly evident from the lead story, our Association is disappointed at the outcome of the latest installment of Pension Reform, which, we believe, saddles future employees with the debt created by past generations of government officials who failed to properly fund the government’s share of pension obligations. In addition to seeking fair and equitable treatment for future government workers, we also strongly advocated our position that existing benefit inequalities be addressed through Pension Reform III.
Chapter 176 Marks Sweeping Change
NOVEMBER 21, 2011: As expected, late last Friday, November 18, Governor Deval Patrick signed Pension Reform III into law as Chapter 176, Acts of 2011.
The measure, which had been enacted in the House and Senate three days earlier, creates a new retirement plan for new employees of our 105 retirement systems, hired on or after next April 2nd.
Senate Increases State & Teacher Base
NOVEMBER 2011 VOICE: Heeding our Association’s call to use “Pension Reform III” as an opportunity to address longstanding benefit inequities, the Senate passed a provision within their proposal (S2018) increasing the state & teacher retirees’ COLA base by $1,000 to a new $13,000.
COLA Base Increase & Retiree Benefits Included
NOVEMBER 4, 2011: Phase III of Pension Reform has now passed the House with a unanimous vote to further alter the public pension benefit structure for future employees. In addition to future benefit changes (affecting those first hired on or after July 1, 2012), the House plan seeks a series of benefit enhancements for current retirees.
Association Urges COLA Inclusion
SEPTEMBER 2011 Voice: Determined to act this year on what might prove to be a generational change in our public retirement formula, Legislative Leaders are now drafting legislation that would serve as the third major pension reform measure passed in as many years.
Increased State & Teacher COLA Base Considered
SEPTEMBER 29, 2011: House leaders are eyeing mid-October to begin debate on the latest proposal to further reform the state's defined benefit pension plan. Earlier this month the Senate overwhelmingly passed S2018, which would bring about major changes to retirement benefits of employees hired after January 1, 2012.
Newburyport News Editorial
Bottom line for the pension reform bill currently before the Legislature: Since changes would affect only those hired into government service after Jan. 1, 2012, anyone offered employment with the state who felt they could get a better deal elsewhere would be free to turn the job down.
Boston Globe Editorial
MASSACHUSETTS NEEDS another round of public-pension reforms. Though Beacon Hill has made progress in curbing the worst abuses of the system, public-pension systems still have billions of dollars more in liabilities than they have money to pay for them. Bond rating agencies have made it clear that unless Beacon Hill comes to grips with the problem, the Commonwealth's ability to borrow money will suffer. And while the bill that cleared the Senate Thursday will help in several important ways, it also exacerbates the problem in others.