Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Senate and House Retirement Committees Hold Second Meeting on COLAs

The Senate and House Retirement Committees met jointly September 25 to continue discussion of funding methods for cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retired members of the state retirement systems.

This second meeting primarily focused on statewide retirement systems with presentations from the Sheriffs Pension Relief Fund and the Louisiana School Employees' Retirement System. LASERS presented information at the first Senate Retirement Committee Meeting held on August 21.

Senate Retirement Committee Chair Guillory reiterated that the purpose of the hearings is to study solutions to problems in the granting of COLAs, in order to institute a rational state policy for establishing future COLAs.

In today's meeting, extensive information was provided by Paul Richmond, actuary for the Legislative Auditor's office. Richmond stated that a funding source must be provided in order to grant COLAs. When asked for ideas on how to pay for COLAs, he suggested identifying retirees with the most needs, and possibly increasing employee contributions. 

Representative Sam Jones asked if members in the new Cash Balance Plan, to be implemented July 1, 2013, would be eligible for future COLAs. Richmond responded that according to the new law, COLAs are not granted to members of this plan.

The next committee meeting will be held in November.

LASERS will provide additional information as it becomes available.

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