Articles about the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees
Medicare Rates May Increase for Some Retirees
OCTOBER 9, 2015: A flat Consumer Price Index (CPI) means there will be no COLA increase under Social Security for 2016. The CPI-W is the federal standard used to calculate inflation.
Since 1987, a national debate has raged as to whether or not the CPI-W is an accurate gauge for retirees. Many, including our Association, feel a more accurate measure is the CPI-E (Elderly), which looks to inflationary pressures such as healthcare costs that impact retirees on a larger scale.
By Cliff Clark
Sentinel & Enterprise
Treasurer Goldberg to Include Payment in July Pensions
JULY 21, 2014: Following Governor Charlie Baker’s approval of the 3% COLA for state and teacher retirees, Treasurer Deb Goldberg saw to it that the 1st payment for FY16 will be included in the July pension check.
By Cliff Clark, email@example.com
LEOMINSTER -- The third attempt to secure an annual pension increase for city retirees failed like the first two at a meeting Tuesday morning of the city's Retirement Board.
"You ought to be ashamed of yourselves," one person shouted from a crowd of more than 50 city retirees and supporters at the board as three of its members raised their hands to deny city retirees a 1.7 percent cost-of-living increase.
$12,000 COLA Base Created in 1997 Amongst Heavy Opposition
July 2015 Voice: For nearly fifty years our Association has led the fight for cost-of-living benefits for public retirees. During that time several milestones have been reached, whereby COLA benefits have been incrementally increased for retirees.
LEOMINSTER -- Just seven days after the Retirement Board voted down the first cost-of-living increase for city retirees in five years, another attempt will be made at 9 a.m. Tuesday, according to one board member.
"We're going to try again to get a COLA for city retirees," said elected board member John Picone.
During last week's meeting, the board voted twice on proposals to raise the COLA 3 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.
July 2015 Voice: For the second time around, Dedham has increased its COLA Base. First, they went from $12,000 to $13,000 in 2014.
Then at the May Town Meeting, an article, recommended by both the Finance and Warrant Committees, was presented that would raise the Base to $15,000. It prompted a spirited debate.
Among those stepping to the microphone in support of the increase was Selectman Jim McDonald. He said many retirees were living on fixed income and the town should take care of its retired employees who had given a lot to the town.
LEOMINSTER -- Tension between the chairman of the Retirement Board, other board members and city retirees erupted into open hostility at a meeting Tuesday, when another attempt at securing a cost-of-living raise for pensioners failed.
"You've been lying to this board," elected Retirement Board member John Picone said to Chairman John Richard, who is also the city comptroller, in front of more than 40 city retirees in the Council Chambers of City Hall. "You've been lying to me. You've been lying to the people out here for years.
Also Maintains State Retiree Insurance % In Budget Proposal
MAY 2015 VOICE: In his first budget proposal, Governor Charlie Baker has proposed a full 3% COLA for state and teacher retirees to be paid beginning in July on the existing $13,000 base.
Baker is the first Republican governor since Jane Swift to support retiree COLAs. Former Governor Mitt Romney failed to provide for a retiree COLA in each of his four annual budget proposals.
FY16 Budget Takes Effect July 1, 2015
MARCH 4, 2015: Governor Charlie Baker has included a full 3% COLA for retired state employees and teachers in his FY16 budget proposal filed today. The COLA would be applied to a $13,000 base.
COLAs for local, county, regional and district retirees are established locally and administrated by local retirement systems. At the local level the COLA base ranges from $12,000 to $18,000 – an amount determined by the retirement board and local legislative body.