State Employees May See Increase In Pensions

State employees, school employees, teachers and State Police may soon see more money in their pension checks.

A 1.5 percent increase in pensions for the purpose of cost-of-living adjustments would be implemented for the first time in six years. This 1.5 percent would average out to approximately $29 a month in extra money for state employees’ pension checks.

But, legislation to increase public pension checks does not stop there.

Earlier in the day, legislative sponsors sidelined proposals aimed at giving retired state employees and teachers the possibility of a boost in their pension checks above the 1.5 percent.

Both legislators had their eyes set on using money left over in system “experience accounts” after the 1.5 percent proposed cost of living adjustment is implemented.

Similarly, a Louisiana House panel, approved legislation that would require colleges and universities to increase  the amount of money they contribute to faculty pensions.

House Bill 6, as amended in committee, would require the employer contribution to what is called the Optional Retirement Plan to reach 6.2 percent by 2018. It is the same amount private employers are required to contribute toward Social Security but less than what other public universities and colleges in the U.S. pitch in to the retirement plans for, primarily, their faculty.

Kevin Pearson, R-Slidell, told the Advocate that the increase is “something we need to strive to reach.” The state contributes 3.66 percent to higher education faculty members’ pensions, the lowest in the state. Faculty members’ contribute 8 percent to their pension.

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