Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Teacher retirees fear legislation might prevent COLAs

Approved legislation that would help pay off retirement system debt has some retirees concerned about future cost-of-living adjustments.

Senate Bill 296 would take money from separate accounts funded by retirement systems’ excess investment earnings to pay down an $11 billion debt.

Members of a group representing retired teachers are so concerned; they have asked Gov. Bobby Jindal to veto the measure.

“Our retirees basically see that as using money that was designed for future COLAs to pay the state’s obligation,” said Graig Luscombe, executive director of the Louisiana Retired Teachers Association.

Reducing those payments and catching up with the debt takes priority over COLAs, said state Sen. Butch Gautreaux, D-Morgan City, and sponsor of SB296.

Gautreaux, who is also chairman of the Senate Retirement Committee, has promised that if SB296 becomes law, he will find a systematic approach for granting COLAs by next year’s session.

No comments: