Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Frix's COLA Bill for State Retirees Passes House Floor


COLA Bill for State Retirees Passes House Floor

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 11th, 2019) – The House of Representatives passed a bill today that would grant an increase in retirement benefits to retirees of Oklahoma’s six retirement systems.

House Bill 2304, authored by State Rep. Avery Frix, R-Muskogee, would give a permanent 4 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) to all retirees of the Teachers’ Retirement System of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System, Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System, Uniform Retirement System for Justices and Judges, Oklahoma Law Enforcement Retirement System and Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System. The increase would take place January 1, 2020.

Frix said the issue was brought to his attention in 2016 by a constituent who is a retired teacher and whose health insurance cost more than her retirement check.

“Our state’s former public servants haven’t had a cost-of-living increase in 11 years,” Frix said. “After dedicating their lives and careers to our state, they deserve the long-term stability a COLA would provide. I was glad my colleagues in the House voted overwhelmingly to support this bill and provide for our public retirees.”

HB2304 passed the House with a 98-3 vote and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

The bill also amends the Oklahoma Pension Legislation Actuarial Analysis Act to include a safe harbor clause that allows the bill to be treated as a nonfiscal retirement bill in the legislative process.

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