On November 16th, the Select Committee on Pension Policy (SCPP) voted to recommend a proposal for a one-time 3% increase for Plan 1 retirees with cap of $110 per month. This would provide an increase of 3% to all Plan 1 retirees with pensions of $44,000 per year or less. Those with pensions larger than $44,000 would receive the cap amount of $110 per month in increase. The proposal will now be introduced to the Legislature in January.
RPEC and our retiree allies had requested a bill to provide a yearly, permanent 3% COLA similar to what retirees in Plans 2/3 receive. That proposal did not receive enough votes to pass. RPEC leaders will now meet and discuss next steps as we look ahead to the Legislative Session. While another one-time, capped increase would provide some relief to Plan 1 retirees, until there is a substantial and consistent COLA, the problem of loss of purchasing power will remain.
It is essential that Plan 1 retirees continue to communicate with their legislators about how the lack of a COLA has impacted them and their families. Our Plan 1 members appreciate the solidarity and support from Plan 2/3 retirees who understand that by protecting the retirement security of one, we protect it for all. In addition to the Plan 1 COLA issue, RPEC members will be advocating for a multitude of priorities in 2022 that impact all retirees, regardless of plan. The full list of the 2022 RPEC priorities can be found here: https://rpecwa.org/publications/rpec-legislative-priorities/
Email addresses and office phone numbers for your legislators can be found here: https://apps.leg.wa.gov/Rosters/Members The toll-free State Legislature switchboard is 1-800-562-6000.