MAY 2, 2008: As the Massachusetts House of Representatives worked to complete their annual budget deliberations, Association officials are confident that the 3% cost-of-living increase (COLA) contained within the budget is secure for 2008. The 3% increase, which takes effect in July, is applied to a maximum base of $12,000.

Unlike local retirees, who rely on an annual vote of their retirement board for the COLA, the yearly increase for state and teacher retirees is included as part of the Commonwealth’s annual budget. Legislative leaders have supported our Association’s call for an annual COLA, approving the full 3% increase each year since 1997.


S2234, which is our Association’s bill to raise the COLA base to $16,000, remains before the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. The Committee, chaired by Senator Steven Panagiotakos (D-Lowell), is said to be awaiting the decision of Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) on the issue of extending the Commonwealth’s pension funding schedule an additional three-years to accommodate the higher base without an increase in the state’s pension appropriation.