State, Teacher Retirees To Receive 3% COLA

SEPTEMBER 2000 -
Effective: July 2000 - Members of the State and Teachers' Retirement Systems will receive
their new 3% COLAs in their August checks, the checks mailed at the end
of August.

Because
the FY2001 state budget did not receive final legislative enactment
until July 18 and was not signed by Governor Cellucci until July 28,
the increase which became effective this July, could not be included in
the July checks. The August checks will include the July increase.

Governor
Cellucci did not include a state and teacher COLA when he submitted his
budget last January. Once again, the House and Senate came through,
inserting the necessary COLA article in their respective budgets.

Members
will recall that the Governor vetoed the 1999 3% COLA, which the
Legislature had voted in its budget. The veto received a prompt
override in the House and Senate and retirees received their COLA,
retroactive to July 1999.

There
was some early speculation that the Governor would again use his veto
pen on this year's COLA, which would once more require an override.
However, Association Legislative Liaison Shawn Duhamel maintained close
contact with the Governor's office during the ten days between the
10-day-period (July 18-28) and received assurance that the COLA would
not be vetoed.

Eligibility

Any
member retired as of June 30, 1999 will be eligible for this year's
COLA. Members retired as of June 30, 2000 will be eligible for the July
2001 COLA. These dates are uniform for all retirement systems.

The
maximum $12,000 base to which the 3% can be applied has not changed.
For a retiree or survivor with an annual pension of $12,000 or greater,
the COLA will be $360.00 or $30.00 monthly. Members with pensions of
under $12,000 will receive the COLA on their full pension.

In
1997 the COLA base was increased from $9,000 to $12,000. Members can be
assured that a higher base will be a priority in the 2001-2002
legislative session.

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