COLA

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

Quest For Higher COLA Base Continues

SEPTEMBER 2001
- 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
Service.

Local Retirees Receive 3% COLA

SEPTEMBER 2001
- 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.

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.

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.

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.

Arlington Cola Correction

JANUARY 2001 -
In earlier reporting on retirement boards which did not pay a
retroactive COLA for 1999, we failed to include Arlington. The
Arlington Retirement Board did not take a vote on increasing the July
1999 COLA to 3%, but instead stayed with the 1.3% CPI COLA. Out of our
104 local retirement boards, 99 voted to pay a retroactive 3% for 1999.
Five, including Arlington, paid a 1.3% COLA.

Hingham Accepts Cola Law

NOVEMBER 2000 -
The adage "better late than never" is certainly apropos when it comes
to the town of Hingham and Chapter 17, the COLA law sponsored by our
Association and enacted back in '97. Over the past two years or so, the
Voice has chronicled the ongoing controversy, in which we
objected to efforts by Hingham officials to establish their own COLA
plan, which was significantly different from Chapter 17. One major
issue, on which we criticized the Hingham plan, was that it failed to
make COLA increases a permanent part of a retiree's pension as is the
case under Chapter 17.

Most Local Retirees Receive 3% COLA

SEPTEMBER 2000 -
Only Five Boards Did Not Vote Full Increase (1999 & 2000) - With few exceptions, our 104 local retirement boards took advantage of
the opportunity to vote 3% COLAs for their retirees and survivors for
both 1999 and 2000.

State, Teacher Retirees To Receive 3% COLA

SEPTEMBER 2000 -
Effective: July 2000 - Members of the State and Teachers' Retirement Systems will receive
their new 3% COLAs in their August checks, the checks mailed at the end
of August.