Jake Ellis, District 15, Unable to vote as a PERSI Retiree
House Concurrent Resolution 30 is a proposal to only approve the Legislatively Mandated 1% COLA for 2020 and the Discretionary .7% COLA for 2020 for a total of 1.7% to be awarded March 1, 2020. This would revoke the recommendation of the PERSI Board of Directors to pay other Retro COLA’s and shorting the Board’s proposal to retirees by 4.84%. The main reasoning Representative Harris gave is that Employer and Employee contribution rates are at a historic high and the PERSI is only 92.5% funded.
House Bill 448 is a proposal that would require PERSI to be 100% funded AND require Employer Contributions to be 10% or less AND Employee Contributions to be 6% or less in order to award ANY future discretionary COLA’s above the Mandated 1%, Virtually guaranteeing that there would never be another discretionary COLA distributed to PERSI Retirees.
PERSI is one of the best, if not THE best retirement systems in the country. They have a Board of Directors that has been conservative when needed and reasonable to allocate benefit enhancements when prudent. They are the experts and their recommendations should weigh heavily at the Statehouse. PERSI has remained strong even through the major recession in 2008-2009, so there should not be a fear of plan failure by not being 100% funded.