Retiree COLA increase
“I belong to PASER, and regularly increase my PASER contribution, because it’s so important for the voice of retirees to be heard at the state and national levels. As PASER members, retirees can advocate most effectively for retirement security.”
– Mary Ouellette of St. Agatha,
MSEA-SEIU Eastern Maine Retirees Chapter member, delegate, and PASER contributor
Dear MSEA-SEIU Retiree Member,
Thanks to MSEA-SEIU Retiree Member Mary Ouellette and many of you, eligible retirees next month are getting a cost-of-living adjustment to their public employee pensions. Mary and you have seen, and continue to see, the effectiveness of political advocacy by contributing to Political Action by Services Employees and Retirees (PASER), our member-driven political action program.
On Aug. 9, the Maine Public Employees Retirement System (MePERS) Board of Trustees approved a 2.9 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) increase effective September 2018 for eligible retirees in the State-Judicial-Legislative-Teacher Retirement Plan. If a retiree in this plan gets a full pension base of $21,818.30, the 2.9 percent COLA increase in September will result in a $52.73 monthly increase and lift the base to $22,451.03. If your benefit is less than the current base, your benefits will increase by 2.9 percent. Overall, this increase will put over $15.7 million more per year into the pockets of eligible retirees in this plan.
Eligible retirees in the Participating Local Districts – Consolidated Plan, including Maine Turnpike Authority retirees, will see their retiree COLA increase current benefits by 2.5 percent. This will put nearly $3.3 million more a year into the pockets of eligible retirees in this plan.
The Governor tried to freeze retiree COLAs for the State-Judicial-Legislative-Teacher Retirement Plan for two years, but MSEA-SEIU retiree members followed the state budget process every step of the way through the 2017 legislative session and the 2017 state government shutdown. Together, we built the bipartisan support necessary to protect the retiree COLA.
Many retiree members who defended the retiree COLA participate in our voluntary PASER program. Through PASER, we advocate for workers and retirees, educate the public on what legislators are doing, and support pro-worker candidates.
Our next Governor and every seat in the Legislature are on the November 6 General Elections ballot. We all know how important it is to elect leaders who respect us and our pensions. Your help is critical right now. Please join us in contributing to PASER via your MePERS automatic dues deduction using this form. Please print it out and mail it to: MSEA-SEIU Local 1989, 65 State St., Augusta, ME 04330-5126. Questions? Contact Jeff McCabe at email@example.com or 622-3151 ext. 1144,
or Mary Anne Turowski at Maryanne.firstname.lastname@example.org or 622-3151 ext. 1133.
Ramona Welton, President, MSEA-SEIU Local 1989
Jane Gilbert, PASER Chair