Governor Charles D. Baker's Budget Recommendation - House 2 Fiscal Year 2017

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Outside Section 28

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Pension Cost of Living Adjustment

SECTION 28.   Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the amounts transferred pursuant to subdivision (1) of section 22C of chapter 32 of the General Laws shall be made available for the Commonwealth's Pension Liability Fund established in section 22 of said chapter 32. The amounts transferred pursuant to said subdivision (1) of said section 22C of said chapter 32 shall meet the commonwealth's obligations pursuant to said section 22C of said chapter 32, including retirement benefits payable by the state employees' retirement system and the state teachers' retirement system, for the costs associated with a 3 per cent cost-of-living adjustment pursuant to section 102 of said chapter 32, for the reimbursement of local retirement systems for previously authorized cost-of-living adjustments pursuant to said section 102 of said chapter 32 and for the costs of increased survivor benefits pursuant to chapter 389 of the acts of 1984. The state board of retirement and each city, town, county and district shall verify these costs subject to rules, which shall be adopted by the state treasurer. The state treasurer may make payments upon a transfer of funds to reimburse certain cities and towns for pensions to retired teachers, including any other obligations which the commonwealth has assumed on behalf of any retirement system other than the state employees' retirement system or state teachers' retirement system, including the commonwealth's share of the amounts to be transferred pursuant to section 22B of said chapter 32. All payments for the purposes described in this section shall be made only pursuant to distribution of monies from the fund and any distribution and the payments for which distributions are required shall be detailed in a written report filed quarterly by the secretary of administration and finance with the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on public service in advance of the distribution. Distributions shall not be made in advance of the date on which a payment is actually to be made. The state board of retirement may expend an amount for the purposes of the board of higher education's optional retirement program pursuant to section 40 of chapter 15A of the General Laws. If the amount transferred pursuant to said subdivision (1) of said section 22C of said chapter 32 exceeds the amount necessary to adequately fund the annual pension obligations, the excess amount shall be credited to the Pension Reserves Investment Trust Fund established in subdivision (8) of section 22 of said chapter 32 for the purpose of reducing the unfunded pension liability of the commonwealth.

This annual section explains how the Commonwealth is fulfilling its various obligations to the state retirement system, including the obligation to fund a 3% cost-of-living adjustment on the first $13,000 of a retiree's annual retirement allowance.

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