Articles about the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees

COLA Base And Its History

July 06 - Funding Schedule Explained - The Commonwealth’s first COLA law was passed back in 1966 and only allowed a COLA to be paid to retirees with pensions of $5,000 or less.

Push On For New COLA Base

MAY 2006 - Schedule Adjustment Can Absorb $16,000 Level - Nearly a decade after landmark legislation established the current law governing the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), Association leaders are urging the Legislature to move forward with a plan to increase the COLA base to $16,000.

Local COLA Voting Season Opens

UPDATED APRIL 18, 2006 - Newton Board Leads The Way - Local government retirement boards have until July 1st to vote for a July 2006 3% COLA for their retirees and survivors.
boards wait until sometime after the first of the year to take a vote
on the July 1st COLA, a few even waiting until June to vote.

Romney Slights Retirees - Again

MARCH 2006 - No Pension COLA In His Annual Budget - It's hard to believe, but Governor Mitt Romney, in submitting his FY 07 state budget (effective July 1, 2006) to the Legislature, failed to include a 3% pension COLA for state and teacher retirees.

COLA Base Update

- Association officials continue to work closely with the Joint
Committee on Public Service to draft legislation raising the COLA base
to a higher level in 2006.

State Paid $1.727 Billion Toward Local COLAs

SEPTEMBER 2005 - Cities, Towns Continue To Benefit - Since the inception of Prop 2 1/2 in 1981, COLA payments totaling $1.727 billion have been distributed by the state to local retirement systems, according to Jean Simone of the State Retirement Board who coordinates the payments.

And, although the state returned the responsibility of new COLA costs to local governments in 1998, the Commonwealth is still paying a significant amount each year to the locals for COLAs that were built into municipal pensions during the '81-'98 period.

3% July COLA On Schedule

JULY 2005
- Retired members of our 106 retirement systems can look forward to a
new 3% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in their July pension checks.

Consumer Price Index: What It Means To Us

MARCH 2005
- First Step Toward Cost-Of-Living - When it comes to reporting on cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) on
your pension, you've read or heard us referring to the Consumer Price
Index or CPI. What is the CPI and why is it important to us?

Boards Prepare For COLA Vote

- Once again, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was less than 3%. The CPI
for the year ending with the third quarter of 2004 increased by 2.7%
over the third quarter of 2003. This is the figure that will be used
for increases in the January Social Security and Federal retirement

COLA Base Study Underway

- Initial "Summit Meeting" Held - While the $12,000 COLA base will remain in effect for this coming
July's COLA, the second step toward a higher future base was taken on
October 28.