2015 Regular Session in Review
During the 2015 Legislative session the LPPC’s state members and their national partner, NPPC, were incredibly successful at promoting and protecting public pension sustainability and dignified retirement for public workers in Louisiana. We were able to fight back against dangerous legislation that would have harmed public retirement systems by allowing public colleges and universities to opt out of the Teacher's Retirement System, and we passed meaningful reforms that improve the funded level of our systems while also providing for a much needed cost of living adjustment of retirees in the four state systems. We prevented the passage of bills that would ask workers to work longer for a lower benefit, and we addressed teacher and school employee shortages by passing legislation that will allow school employees to return to work without forfeiting their pension benefit.
VICTORIES IN 2015
Cost of Living Raises for Eligible Retirees (HB 42 – Jones) Passed in the final seconds of the legislative session, this measure authorizes a cost of living pay raise of up to 1.5%, $30 a month on average, for eligible retirees in LASERS and TRSL. Eligible retirees in the state police and school employees’ retirement system are eligible for a cost of living increase of up to 2%. This measure also includes additional reform measures to more quickly pay down unfunded accrued liabilities and help control the rising costs of required employer contributions into the retirement systems. This measure is likely to be vetoed by the Governor.
Rehiring of Retired Teachers and Education Personnel (SB 20 – Long) This measure expands the ability of retired teachers, other educators and related personnel such as counselors, therapists and social workers to return to work in a school system after 12 months of retirement without a reduction in their retirement benefits. The move is an effort to address a shortage of qualified personnel across a number of disciplines across the state. This instrument awaits signature by the Governor.
State Police Retirement Longevity Pay (SB 2 – Claitor) This bill repeals the monthly longevity payments provided to certain members of the State Police Retirement System which legislators approved last year. Questions were raised as to the constitutionality of the law which provided the payments. No increased retirement benefits were ever paid as a result of the law. This measure awaits signature by the Governor.