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Valley legislators support cost of living increase for retired teachers

A proposal to reinstate the cost-of-living adjustment for retired teachers in the state pension fund has bipartisan support among state legislators who represent the Mahoning Valley.

A change to all of the state pension funds in 2012 reduced pension benefits and allowed pension boards to change the cost-of-living adjustment without the approval of the state Legislature. The State Teachers Retirement System reduced its COLA for some retired teachers and eliminated it for others in 2013. Four years later, a 2 percent annual COLA was removed for all STRS retirees because of a bad investment.

But with the retirement fund stabilized, state Sen. Teresa Fedor, D-Toledo, introduced legislation Jan. 12 in the Senate to reinstate COLA to retirees in STRS. The bill hasn’t been assigned to a committee.

About 500,000 active and retired teachers are in the system.

The pension fund has more than $90 billion in assets as of June 30, 2021.

The bill doesn’t specify how much of a COLA increase would be offered.

Read more in Sunday’s Tribune Chronicle.

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