Press Releases

 

GSRA issues press releases primarily to communicate relevant information of significant interest to the State government retirement community.  These releases are sent to news outlets and made available in PDF format on our website for those that would choose to use the information.  A list of Association press releases is shown below by date.

  

Current

Great beginning in achieving one of GSRA's legislative goals! HB 821 is passed out of committee on 2/4/20.

 

HB 821 by our champion Rep. Debbie Buckner, with Rep. Gerald Greene as sponsor, would remove the restrictions against the granting of COLAs for GSEPS members, as well as for members of the legislative and judicial retirement systems. Click HERE to view the video.

 

This bill does not guarantee COLAs -- as we well know -- for members of the newest ERS plan for state employees, but it does remove the legal barriers preventing them. And, importantly, it sets up state employee retirees for equal treatment.

 

Rep. Buckner did a terrific job promoting the bill to ERS executives as well as to her colleagues. There was no opposition expressed to the bill.

 

In the video below of today's proceedings, Rep. Buckner introduces HB 821 9:25 into the video. In responding to Rep. Chuck Martin's question, ERS Director Jim Potvin clearly explains the restrictions on ERS board awarding COLAs based on its guidelines beginning at 14:50. And GSRA president Jim Sommerville speaks to the bill from 17:20 to 23:20. Rep. Greene seconded a do-pass motion from Rep. Patty Bentley, and the bill passed unanimously.

 


CLICK HERE TO VIEW 1/14/2020 HOUSE RETIREMENT COMMITTEE MEETING ON TRS FUNDING CHANGES

 

At this year's first meeting of the House Retirement Committee, Rep. Chuck Martin presented an amended HB 667 for a hearing only (no vote). This bill makes several changes to the Teachers Retirement System which would accelerate paying off that system's unfunded liability which presently stands at 22% -- that is, the fund has 78% of the money necessary to pay off the cost of projected benefits assuming no further payments or investment earnings into the system. The unfunded liability for ERS is about 25%. As reported by Rep. Martin, this summer's actuarial study estimates that his bill would cost about $300 million annually to the retirement system which has had little problems granting annual 3% COLAs to its members. Rep. Martin repeatedly stated that his bill would be necessary at some point to keep promises made to TRS members. But this annual $300 million would almost pay for the 3% annual COLA which was promised to ERS members but which has not been paid for upwards of 12 years. You can view Rep. Martin's presentation and the response by GSRA legislative liaison Chuck Freedman by clicking on the link above, and then positioning your cursor on the faint line at the bottom of the screen. This will result in a time being displayed.  Move the cursor until you see 1:19:40 (the time at which Rep. Martin is called to present his bill).

 

 

From Atlanta Journal/Constitution, 04/19/19:

Georgia’s state retirees denied cost-of-living increases once again

  
Click HERE to read OP-ED to Atlanta Journal Constitution
by GSRA President Jim Sommerville 

 

AJC - February 5, 2019

 

https://www.ajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/retired-state-workers-want-georgia-restore-cost-living-increases/5SHle0qMu4FVk88LLojqSP/

 

AJC OP-ED submitted by President Jim Sommerville  

 

Gwinnett Citizen Article - June, 2016

Archive 

 

September 6, 2007

ERS Retirees Face Loss of COLA

 

March 8, 2007

State Retirees Organize