RPEA Update: Pension COLA Announced
Pension COLA Announced
Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has announced that the new pension cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will be 3%, the highest COLA ever, and the maximum amount authorized by statute. The prior highest COLA was 2%, a mark hit just once.
The COLA is applied to the first $18,000 of your pension benefit. Generally, you must be over 62 years and retired for 5 years. The COLA is based on 50% of the rate of inflation, and can never be less than 1%, or higher than 3%.
The COLA increase will appear in monthly pension payments starting in late September. The maximum annual increase is $540, or $45 per month.
Recognizing the deficiency in the current formula, RPEA has had legislation introduced to enact a “catch up” provision going back 21 years to provide a COLA equal to the actual rate of inflation, while keeping the 3% cap in place. The “catch up” applies only to retirees already eligible for a COLA. The bill also raises the income threshold from $18,000 to $21,000, which would apply to everyone going forward.
With the actual rate of inflation hovering at a 40 year high of about 9%, retirees need help. Our “catch up” provision in the new bill will provide a boost for those already retired and eligible for the COLA. The “catch up” would be a one time calculation, but it would become part of your base pension amount, and you would receive it every year going forward. It will be our highest priority next session.
Senior Citizen Property Tax Exemption Increased
Yesterday, Governor Hochul signed into law a measure to allow local governments to increase the maximum allowable income eligibility for a senior citizen property tax exemption from $29,000 to $50,000. The income eligibility was last increased in 2009.
This increase must be enacted at the local government level to take effect. The bill signed by the Governor gives localities the authorization to implement the increase.
Annual Meeting September 14
The Annual Meeting is September 14, at the Hilton Garden Inn, Troy, NY. For those outside the area, or unable to attend in person, the event will be live streamed on our Facebook page: facebook.com/RPEANY.
Our printed newsletter is “in the mail” with a registration form. Keep an eye out for it!
BE WELL...STAY SAFE!
Retired Public Employees Association | 165 Jordan Road, Troy, NY 12180