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

Local COLA Update

MAY 2002
- As of March 30, fifty-five local retirement boards including seven
for county/regional systems had voted to pay a 3% cost-of-living (COLA)
beginning July 1. Members in these systems must have retired before
July 1, 2001 in order to receive this increase.

Newton Votes July COLA

MARCH 2002
- First Board To Take Action - Newton's Retirement Board, the first retirement board in the state to
vote for a July 2002 3% COLA, wasted no time in making a decision.
Their unanimous vote was actually held on December 12, 2001, before
calendar year 2002 even started.

State, Teacher COLA... At Last

- Finally, eligible state and teacher retirees and survivors will
receive their 3% pension COLA which will be effective retroactively to
July 2001.

COLA Delay Continues

- Economic Woes Slow Legislative Process - Beyond the human tragedies that have resulted from the September 11
terrorist attacks is the impact the tragedy has had on our economy. The
economic downturn that began last year has been accelerated in the
weeks following the attack. As a result, legislative leaders are
closely monitoring state revenue receipts and considering trimming
expenditures for the current fiscal year.

Quest For Higher COLA Base Continues

- Major Challenge For Association - Our Association’s bill, H335, which would raise the current COLA base
of $12,000 to $20,000 for state and teacher retirees, with the same
option at the local level, remains in the Joint Committee on Public

Local Retirees Receive 3% COLA

- State, Teachers Await Budget Passage For Their COLA - For the first time since the enactment of our new 1997 COLA law, all
eligible retirees and survivors of the 104 city, town, county,
regional, authority and district retirement systems received a 3%
pension cost of living (COLA) increase effective this July.

Three Percent COLA Assured

JULY 2001 - House And Senate In Agreement - Although
it may be some time before the House and Senate reach final agreement
on the Commonwealth’s FY 2002 State Budget, which takes effect this
July, the new 3% COLA for state and teacher retirees has been agreed
upon by both branches and the governor.

Easthampton Rejects COLA, Will Vote Again

JULY 2001 - The
Easthampton Retirement Board, which voted 3-2 against a July COLA, will
take a second vote on June 29. Board member Mary Brewer, who voted
against the COLA, has moved reconsideration, allowing the Board to vote
again. It is expected that the meeting room will be packed with
retirees on June 29.

COLA Hearing Encouraging

MAY 2001 -
Next Step: Cost Data - February 27 was opening day for the Joint Legislative Committee on
Public Service, the first of 16 scheduled hearing dates which will
conclude on June 26.

Cellucci Budget Calls For 3% COLA

MARCH 2001 -
Local Boards Also Take Action - On January 24, Governor Paul Cellucci submitted his FY2002 state budget
(H1) to the Legislature. Included in the $22.5 billion budget package
was language that would trigger a 3% COLA for eligible retired state
employees and teachers this July.