State of Washington judge rules retirees' COLA retraction
(11/20/2012) The National Association of State Retirement Association (NASRA)
“News Clips” reports that the in the Olympian that: “Washington state
judge rules against retraction of COLAs for existing retirees".
A judge has ruled that the legislature acted illegally last year when it
eliminated an annual increase in benefits to retirees in two older state pension
plans. The eventual hit to the budget could reach into the hundreds of millions
of dollars per year starting with the current 2011-2013 budget and force new
cuts, taxes or other budget moves.”
Here in Ohio, the legislature over the last several years has neglected the
Ohio Constitution’s requirement of an adequately funded public school system.
The Ohio Legislature, the STRS, and the Ohio teacher unions being part of the
total package, have possibly opened themselves up to a similar court ruling due
to the retraction of the COLA Ohio’s existing retired teachers. The Ohio
legislature, therefore, needs to act quickly to reinstate the COLA, the spouse
benefits, and any other retraction of retiree benefits that may be illegal. Due
to the compounding interest of any of these judicial awards, to wait for a state
or federal judge to reinstate these retractions, may be even more punishing for
the State of Ohio.
Personally, as an elderly Ohio STRS retired teacher annuitant, I cannot
applaud or be happy about the retractions made to current retired STRS members.
From the numerous news media pictures the Ohio teacher unions, both active and
retired, seem to be happily in collusion with the legislature in this
not-so-honorable course of action in retracting retired teachers' promised
benefits. Who among them had the moral courage to stand alone? I would like to
know so that I can vote for that person in our unions, as well as in the