House committee on public pensions passes COLA bill
The House Employment, Labor and Pensions Committee passed today HB 1231 - Pension Cost Of Living Adjustments. The vote was 9-0. ISTA testified in support of the bill.
The bill provides a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to retirees in the PERF/TRF pension funds. The COLA would be provided for one year with a determination on a yearly basis afterwards.
Details of the COLA increase are:
- 3% COLA to a member who retired before January 1, 1983
- 2% COLA to a member who retired after December 31, 1982 and before January 1, 1995
- 1% COLA to a member who retired after December 31, 1994
There has been no COLA since 2008. Although a “13th check” has been provided in the years since, the amount does not compound with the base as it does with a COLA.
The state has a history of providing “catch up” funding to offset a decline in retirees’ purchasing power combined with inflation. Fiscal analysis shows that the fund is in good shape.
The bill will be recommitted to House Ways and Means.
Please thank Chairman Doug Gutwein (email) and Representative David Niezgodski (email) for authoring the bill. Please also thank the members of the committee for supporting the COLA.