Tuesday, July 17, 2007

LTE - Support for COLA

A reader writes to the Baton Rouge Advocate in support of the 2007 COLA for eligible members of LASERS.

Re: July 4 Readers’ Views letter, “State gives away taxpayers’ money.”

The writer seems irate that certain retired state employees will have received two cost-of-living adjustments since 2002 as compared with five COLAs being declared by Social Security during this period.

The writer fails to give any credit to the Louisiana State Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees for making these two COLAs possible.

In order to gain legislative approval, LASERS had to earn more than double the interest rate paid by the U.S. Treasury on the Treasury bonds purchased by Social Security.

Failure to exceed that high standard prevented any COLA being declared effective 7/1/03, 7/1/04 and 7/1/05. Earnings in excess of 8.25 percent are credited to the Investment Experience Account, which had grown to $171,905,146 as of June 30, 2006.

I am grateful for the 2005 and 2006 COLAs recommended and earned by the LASERS trustees, reviewed and approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Kathleen Blanco.

Vernon L. Strickland
Retired State Employee
Baton Rouge

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