COLA Report – August 28th

MRTA Executive Director Jim Kreider, MRTA Legislative Chair Linda Greeson, and Madison County Unit Legislative Chair Mike Stearley attended the PSRS/PEERS Board of Trustees Meeting on August 28th. Most of the information was the same as we reported to you in June. The new information presented was regarding the final CPI figure and investment returns. The CPI was 1.63% as of June 30th which would mean no COLA for 2018 unless the policy changes at the next PSRS/PEERS Board meeting. They also reported a 12.5% return on investment for the fiscal year 2016-2017. The 2017-2018 PSRS/PEERS administrative budget has been trimmed about 5% making it the same as 2016-2017 budget and the 2020 building project has been put on hold. All of this is a result of MRTA providing constructive criticism and a push to get a reasonable COLA reinstated. MRTA pushed for the COLA decision to be made in October after all the figures are finalized, rather than in the summer months. PSRS/PEERS has agreed to this request, but the meeting has been rescheduled for November 2nd-3rd. We are hopeful that our work and persistence will pay off with a more reasonable COLA policy. THANKS to all of you for your hard work on this issue. Be proud of MRTA as we are the only association who spoke on your behalf at the August 28th meeting. We are the voice for education retirees. Below are the COLA options currently being studied by the PSRS/PEERS actuaries. Please stay tuned.

COLA Scenarios

Scenario A – Baseline (Current Policy)
0% COLA when CPI-U is below 2%
2% COLA when CPI-U is between 2%-5%
5% COLA when CPI-U is above 5%

Scenario B (Actual CPI-U Between 0%-2%)
0% COLA when CPI-U is negative
Actual CPI-U when CPI-U is between 0%-2%
2% COLA when CPI-U is between 2%-5%
5% COLA when CPI-U is above 5%

Scenario C (2011 Funding Stabilization Policy)
0% COLA when CPI-U is negative
2% COLA when CPI-U is between 0%-5%
5% COLA when CPI-U is above 5%

Scenario D (Pre-2011 COLA Policy)
0% COLA when CPI-U is negative
Actual CPI-U when CPI-U is between 0%-5%
5% COLA when CPI-U is above 5%

Scenario E (1% COLA Between 0%-2%)
0% COLA when CPI-U is negative
1% COLA when CPI-U is between 0%-2%
2% COLA when CPI-U is between 2%-5%
5% COLA when CPI-U is above 5%

Scenario F (2% when CPI-U reaches Cumulative 2%)
0% COLA when CPI-U is negative or when CPI-U is between 0%-2% and cumulatively below 2%
2% COLA when CPI-U is between 0%-2% and cumulatively 2% or more
2% COLA when CPI-U is between 2%-5%
5% COLA when CPI-U is above 5%
2% COLA will start on January 1, 2018

31 thoughts on “COLA Report – August 28th

  1. I am not happy, to say the least! My first and only question right now is: what
    kind of an investment policy does this board have? They must not be making very good choices as they invest OUR money in the rapid growth economy we have right now.

  2. Thanks MRTA for all the service to retirees. Your work is most certainly appreciated. Wish all retirees in MO would join MRTA.

    Charlie

  3. In the past it was my understanding that in order for the system to be viable and provide the benefits that have been provided previously there needed to be an 8% return. Surely with a 12% return a reasonable COLA can and should be provided. Non of my expenses have gone down and I sure would like to be able to get a 12% return on my investments.

  4. Something is better than NOTHING!! I could use a raise. My husband died last year and I am getting nothing from his SS. I have my quarters and am receiving $20 a month and Medicare. Most of my bills have gone up and I am treading water. Some small raise would help offset the raises. Thank you for working hard and considering all scenarios, especially the ones involving a small raise in benefits.

    • I am 86 years old and have not had a cola raise in years. It would be nice if the rule were changed allowing us old timers to participate in the cola program.

  5. We have six choices. Why not give us our raise directly in line with cpi-u.
    (Ex. When it’s negative we get nothing, when it’s 1% -We get 1% raise, when it’s 2% we get 2%, when it’s 3% we get 3%, etc. Or I would choose the pre 2011 plan.

  6. Since most Missouri teachers don’t receive Social Security, I think it’s very important that we get at least the same as the CPI-U raise.

  7. This is insulting! Medical insc. costs alone went up $450.00 per mo. this past year. Are medical insc. expenses not included in the cost of living lists? SS, Medicare, and part B have all gone up. I need a cola to help keep up. Someone is not looking out for us! I write letter to everyone I can think of and never receive a response!

  8. In St. Joseph, MO, water, sewer, and electricity all requested rate increases for this year and they all were approved!! Natural gas rate increased last year, and they just did ask for another increase for later this year; that’s two years in row for the gas!! These increases are NOT 1% or 2% increases, either; they are increases of 11%, 12%, and 15%!!! A COLA increase is absolutely necessary, or we are “sunk” under the utilities burden…… Not to mention just the normal increase in other areas.

  9. Thank you so much for going to bat for all the retirees! With electricity going up 4% in April, I don’t know where we’re supposed to get the needed funds to pay them. We appreciate all you are doing to get this resolved!

  10. With a good return on our investments, our investment advisors need to be commended. But the board needs to take appropriate action to reinstate the COLA to the same as or something very similar to what we had before.

    Thank you for speaking up for us!

  11. I am really disappointed in the push for the passage of the bills that limit me to how much I can work as a substitute teacher. Being retired doesn’t mean I wanted to leave education completely. I still enjoy teaching. But now I’m restricted.

  12. It’s time for a raise in the form of a COLA as promised. At this rate I will have to live to be 150 to realize my top retirement amount. So looking forward to a COLA.

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