Sunday, February 25, 2024

Inslee Reappoints Bev Hermanson to Select Committee on Pension Policy

Inslee Reappoints Bev Hermanson to Select Committee on Pension Policy

Governor Jay Inslee has appointed RPEC member Bev Hermanson to serve a fourth term on the Select Committee on Pension Policy (SCPP).  Hermanson, who has served on the SCPP since 2014, will be a voice for retired state, county, city, and local government employees for three more years.

The SCPP is a special committee tasked with studying public employee pensions and making policy recommendations to the legislature.  Its members represent all groups that are impacted by pensions: retirees, active employees, state and local governments, and budget writing legislators.  The committee is the starting point for almost every pension bill that passes the Legislature.

In her role, Hermanson will continue to push for protecting pensions and increasing benefits.  She has been the loudest voice for restoring an annual ongoing cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for PERS 1 and TERS 1 retirees, the only pension plans that don’t receive annual automatic COLAs.  She played an instrumental role in developing bills that passed the Legislature in 2018, 2020, 2022, and 2023 to provide one-time COLAs for PERS 1 and TRS 1 retirees.

Hermanson says that she will feel her service on the SCPP has been a success when the legislature restores an annual recuring COLA for PERS 1 and TRS 1 retirees.  Last year, she inserted language into Senate Bill 5350 that requires the SCPP to create an annual automatic COLA proposal.  Governor Inslee signed Senate Bill 5350 into law on May 9.  Please stay tuned for opportunities to support our efforts to influence the SCPP’s Plan 1 COLA proposal beginning this summer.

Hermanson started her career as a state employee and active union member before she was hired by the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE).  As WFSE’s Director of Legislative and Political Action, she helped state employees achieve collective bargaining, defeated attempts by the Legislature to close PERS 2, and helped pass legislation to give police powers to Department of Fish and Wildlife employees tasked with the dangerous job of enforcing the law in remote areas.  After she retired from WFSE, she worked as RPEC’s lobbyist from 2006 to 2014.  Hermanson has been an RPEC member since 2001.  She chairs RPEC’s Political Action Committee, which supports the campaigns of pro-retiree candidates for state legislature and statewide office.

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