Retirees in the Oklahoma Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS) have not had a cost of living adjustment (COLA) since 2008 even though their living expenses have continued to rise. It makes sense to change the system to allow for an increase.
The OPERS fund is healthy. It is funded at 88.6 percent. Pension experts say a system is considered well-funded at 80 percent of its liability. OPERS is one of Oklahoma’s better funded public retirement systems.
The COLA would be funded from this system and not from the state’s general fund. It would not take money from other state programs or services.
Granting the COLA would not increase taxes
Granting the OPERS COLA would not impact other public pension systems.
Retired state employees dedicated their careers to serving their fellow Oklahomans. It is right that Oklahoma support its retired public employees.
The average OPERS pension payment is $1,322 per month.
OPEA Members and all retired state employees are invited to come to the capitol on Tuesday, February 3rd at 1 p.m. to ask lawmakers to support House Bill 2200 by Rep. John Echols which will provide for the ability to grant cost of living adjustments to OPERS retirees when the OPERS fund is healthy. We will meet on the 2nd Floor and OPEA staff will be there to help members visit with their representatives and other key lawmakers. We are also planning future visits to the capitol to gain support for the pension increase. If you are a retired state employee, or soon to be retired, this is an important matter to you and your family.
If you can’t come to the capitol that day, please contact your own Representative and members of the Business, Labor and Retirement Laws Committee. They can be reached through the House switchboard at: (405) 521-2711, (800) 522-8502, or (800) 522-8506 (Relay Oklahoma).
You can also reach them by email at the following addresses. Be sure to ask them to “support state retirees by passing HB2200 out of their committee”.
The committee members are:
Rep. Randy McDaniel, Chairman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rep. Chuck Strohm, Vice Chairman (email@example.com)
Rep. William Fourkiller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rep. Mark McBride (email@example.com)
Rep. Charlie Joyner (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rep. Tom Newell (email@example.com)
Rep. Charles Ortega (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rep. David Perryman (email@example.com)
Rep. Shane Stone (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rep. Kevin Wallace (email@example.com)
If you need more information or would like to become more active with OPEA, please contact Trish Frazier, Tom Dunning or Candice Scarpitti