Thursday, July 19, 2007

LTE - COLA Funding

Connie Carlton, President of RSEA and a LASERS trustee, has a letter-to-the-editor in Thursday's Baton Rouge Advocate defending the 2007 COLA for eligible LASERS retirees.

A recent letter indicated that the state was giving away taxpayers’ money by providing a cost-of-living adjustment to state retirees.

To set the record straight: The funds for the cost-of-living adjustment do not come from taxpayers’ money.

The funds are derived from investing earnings by the Louisiana State Employees Retirement System. According to state laws, one-half of investment earnings over 8.25 percent are placed in the Experience Account (statutorily established by the Legislature) to be used only for COLAs.

Therefore, it is through the excellent investment of retirement funds made by the LASERS board and staff that COLAs are made possible.

State employees are absolutely critical for providing services of the many state government programs affecting Louisiana citizens. State retirees dedicated their career to providing these essential public services.

They are certainly deserving of the small cost-of-living adjustment that was approved by the Legislature.

Connie Carlton, president
Retired State Employees Association
Baton Rouge