Congratulations! 8 years after the cuts to our benefits, the state legislature has finally passed proposals to provide some relief. Last night, a bill (SSB 6340) was passed that will provide a one-time 1.5% COLA to Plan 1 pensions with a cap of $62.50/month. Plan 1 retirees will see that increase in their July pension payout.
In addition, included in the final budget is an increase to the PEBB Medicare Supplement of $18/month (From current $150 to $168). This will be effective January of 2019.
While these actions are nowhere near enough to make up for the 25% loss of purchasing power to Plan 1 retirees since their COLA was eliminated in 2011, or to fully restore of the PEBB Medicare Supplement which was cut from $183 to $150, it is the first increase we have received since the cuts were made.
This is a direct result of the work members have done educating and building relationships with their lawmakers at the Chapter level. And we must remind fellow retirees that this success must be built upon to get a full restoration of a Plan 1 COLA and address the massive increases in health care costs both to our members covered by PEBB and those who are not. In the floor discussion on SSB 6340, it was noted that legislators have heard loud and clear from you that these proposals are not sufficient. Lawmakers stated they would use the interim to look at a more permanent solution. Again, that is a result of YOUR WORK!
We must continue to build on these efforts to not only secure the full restoration of your benefits but to work against the ever increasing attacks on RETIREMENT SECURITY FOR ALL!