MAY 25, 2009: With the passage of a 3% COLA increase by the state Senate last week, state and teacher retirees are all but assured of a July 2009 increase in their monthly pension. COLAs for local retirees are the jurisdiction of local retirement systems, 95% of which have now approved the full 3% COLA that will take effect in July. The COLA is based on the first $12,000 of one's pension, for a maximum increase of $360 annually.

Now that the Senate has completed its work on the FY2010 Budget, the Legislature wil begin its conference process, whereby a final compromise budget will be approved by the House and Senate. It is expected that the budget will be sent to Governor Patrick by the end of June, on time for the start of the FY10 Fiscal Year on July 1.