Tom Ward’s COLA Proposal
What is the better way to handle COLAs and save money? Follow the lead of our surrounding states, that’s how.
In Massachusetts, all state employees get a 3 percent raise on the first $12,000 of their pensions, and no more. What if we did this in Rhode Island (with $12,000 or, I would suggest, an even larger figure) and extend it to both current and future retirees?
It’s a question I posed to state General Treasurer Frank Caprio last week when he stopped in for a visit to this newspaper.
“Is it fair,” I asked, “for a recently retired Woonsocket superintendent of schools to receive a $350 per month raise (on a $140,000 annual pension), every year, forever, while teachers who have been in the classroom 25 years get no COLAs when they retire?” We agreed the correct answer was “No.”