Retiree COLA increase contemplated by MA legislature.

I just received this email from MACRS and MassRetirees reporting that Massachusetts House bill 4631 contains language that would allow for increases to the annual COLA given to retirees.  If voted into law, it would have to be approved by both the Franklin Regional Retirement Board, and the Franklin Regional Retirement Advisory Council. 

Below is the email I received.  Click on the underlined bill number to see the full text of the legislation. – Dale




DATE:  APRIL 27, 2010

On Monday, the House of Representatives engrossed the Municipal Relief Bill (H4631) and sent it to the Senate for action later in May.

H4631 allows for the extension of local pension funding schedules to 2040, beyond the current 2030 limit set forth in Section 22D of Chapter 32. This new local option provision, that is proposed in a new Section 22F in Chapter 32, is set forth in Section 4 of H4631.

Before unanimously passing H4631 to be engrossed, the House voted to include an amendment that also allows local systems to increase the maximum $12,000 COLA Base in multiples of $1,000. Our amendment had two parts, both of which are contained in the attachment.

The first part is included in Section 4 of the bill, as Subsection (e) to the proposed Section 22F. Essentially, it allows local systems, that adopt Section 22F and establish a funding schedule up to 2040, to also increase the COLA Base in $1,000 multiples.

As for the second part of our amendment, it is set forth in Section 24 of H4631. It proposes a new Paragraph (j) within the local COLA law (Section 103 of Chapter 32).

The proposed Paragraph (j) spells out the local option process whereby systems, that either establish an extended funding schedule under the new section 22F or maintain their funding schedule under the existing provisions of Section 22D, can increase the maximum $12,000 COLA Base.

Again, H4631 is in the Senate, awaiting further action.

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