HJR 1027 could end COLAs for retirees

House Joint Resolution 1027 by Rep. Randy McDaniel will be heard this afternoon at 3:00 in the House Economic Development and Finance Committee. This legislation would send a Constitutional Amendment to the people of Oklahoma, making the recent changes in pension law a part of the Oklahoma Constitution. If passed by a vote of the people, the legislature would only be able to provide cost-of-living adjustments from appropriations and not from the investments made by the system.

OPEA believes keeping the recent changes in statute, without a Constitutional amendment, would provide the legislature more options in allowing adjustments to retirees. The legislature could determine a threshold that increases would be allowed.

While several of Oklahoma’s pension systems remain seriously underfunded, three of our systems are considered to be fiscally sound. The Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) is 80.7 percent funded; the Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System (OPPRS) is 93 percent funded; and the Uniform Retirement System for Justice and Judges (URSJJ) is 96.3 percent funded. (Pension experts consider 80 percent to be a well-funded system.)

Let’s not tie future lawmakers’ hands in providing occasional COLAs to our retired public servants!

Call and email the following legislators today. Tell them to vote no on HJR 1027 and leave retirement law in the statutes, not in the Constitution, providing legislators flexibility in granting retirement benefits.
Rep. Bobby Cleveland: (405) 557-7308; bob.cleveland@okhouse.gov
Rep. Rebecca Hamilton: (405) 557-7397; rebeccahamilton@okhouse.gov
Rep. Katie Henke: (405) 557-7361; katie.henke@okhouse.gov
Rep. Kevin Matthews: (405) 557-7406; kevin.matthews@okhouse.gov
Rep. Charles McCall: (405) 557-7412; charles.mccall@okhouse.gov
Rep. Randy McDaniel: (405) 557-7409; randy.mcdaniel@okhouse.gov
Rep. Skye McNiel: (405) 557-7353; skye.mcniel@okhouse.gov
Rep. Richard Morrissette: (405) 557-7404; richardmorrissette@okhouse.gov
Rep. Charles Ortega: (405) 557-7369; charles.ortega@okhouse.gov
Rep. Dustin Roberts: (405) 557-7366; dustin.roberts@okhouse.gov
Rep. Earl Sears: (405) 557-7358; earl.sears@okhouse.gov
Rep. Mike Shelton: (405) 557-7367; mikeshelton@okhouse.gov
Rep. John Trebilcock: (405) 557-7362; johntrebilcock@okhouse.gov
Rep. Mike Turner: (405) 557-7357; mike.turner@okhouse.gov

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