Thursday, February 5, 2009

Laws limit government pension COLAs for some systems

Louisiana laws guiding nine statewide pension systems for local government employees are hindering delivery of cost-of-living increases to retirees, retirement analysts said Wednesday.

The nine retirement systems are able to grant a cost of living adjustment, called a COLA, if investment returns exceed what is needed to fund benefits and are enough to pay for the adjustment.

But the systems also have to clear another funding hurdle, which has become more difficult because of poor stock market performance, actuaries Greg Curran and Charles Hall told a joint legislative committee on retirement.

The statewide systems cover tax assessors, clerks of court, district attorneys, firefighters, municipal employees, municipal police, parochial employees, registrars of voters and sheriffs.

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