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Published on Friday, December 15, 2017

PERS/TRS 1 COLA recommended by the Select Committee on Pension Policy

The Select Committee on Pension Policy met on December 12 and voted to recommend a Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA) for members of the Teachers’ Retirement System Plan 1 (TRS 1) and Public Employees’ Retirement System Plan 1 (PERS 1). The COLA proposal would provide a one-time permanent increase equal to 3 percent on the first $25,000 of a retiree’s annual benefit. So, for example, if a PERS 1 retiree was receiving an annual benefit of $30,000, the COLA would only be applied to the first $25,000 of their benefit.

The Office of the State Actuary (OSA) estimates that the COLA proposal would cost PERS employers an increase of 0.14 percent to the PERS employers’ supplemental contribution rate. OSA further estimates that this would cost local governments (cities, counties, and more) $13.9 million in 2018-2019, $32.7 million in 2019-2021, and $184.6 million in the next 10 years.

AWC is opposing the COLA proposal because it would be a significant cost to local government and would further degrade the financial status of the PERS 1 system. AWC partnered with the Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC) in producing a joint letter to the committee, which can be read here.

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