We are happy to report that Senate Bill 440 (COLA Bill) passed the House today with an 81 - 31 bi-partisan vote. The results of this passage changes the full 3% COLA increase from the born before date of January 1, 1955 to the new born before date of January 1, 1966.
Included in the passage of SB 440 is an increase of 1.5% CPI for widows. This meansthe minimum widow's annuities shall be no less than 125% of the Federal Poverty Level beginning January 1, 2017.
This passage also eliminates the gap in the Tier 2 Death Benefit. This now ensures that a surviving spouse, child, disabled beneficiary and dependent parents are entitled to a benefit in the event of the participant's untimely death.
Annuitants born after January 1, 1955 had been waiting far too long for a benefit that previous annuitants regularly received. The Lodge's hard work on SB 440 has finally been able to correct what was considered by many to be an impossible task during these fiscally difficult times. We are very proud of our Lobbyists and all of those who supported our efforts.