2016 Regular Session In Review

Throughout last year’s regular session, LPPC and their national partner, NPPC, were once again successful in protecting and promoting public pension sustainability and dignified retirement for public workers in Louisiana. Despite the state’s ongoing budget crisis, LPPC has worked tirelessly to ensure lawmakers attempts to balance the budget on the backs of state workers failed. With the passing of key legislation, we’ve also helped affect the lives of retirees across the state.

Victories in 2016 include:

  • The first COLA increase in 2 years (HB 37 - Rep. Jones) Starting July 1, 2016, roughly 125,000 retirees across the state will receive slightly bigger monthly pension checks. The legislation distributes the cost-of-living adjustments ranging from 1 to 2 percent to members of the Louisiana State Employees’ Retirement System, Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana, Louisiana School Employees’ Retirement System and Louisiana State Police Retirement System.
  • Detrimental changes to Louisiana’s retirement systems defeated (HB 45 through HB 52 - Rep. Ivey) This package of bills would have put the retirements of state employees more in line with what is offered in the private sector under the guise it would, “cost the state less.” In actuality, the bills would have cost new state workers more while offering them substantially lowered benefits. Thankfully, this series of bills was voluntarily deferred after wide opposition.
  • Benefits of newly hired firefighters protected with help of Gov. Edwards (SB 3 - Sen Peacock) This legislation proposed negatively changing some calculations used to determine when a firefighter could retire and how much the retiree would get each month. It would’ve unfairly charged one employee the same contribution rate for a lesser benefit than his or her co-workers received. Under SB3, a member could’ve suffered a line of duty debilitating injury in his or her 29th year and be one day shy of reaching their 30 year mark. This member would’ve been forced to retire at 90% where if they’d worked an additional day, they would receive 100%. After Governor Edwards publicly opposed the bill, it failed to leave the House Retirement committee.