The state House Retirement Committee on Tuesday moved ahead on bills that could increase the pensions of part-time lawmakers up to 67% and at least triple what House Speaker David Ralston could receive.
The panel voted to do actuarial studies on three bills — all filed in the final days of the 2021 session. The studies — which essentially determine the cost of the bills — have to be completed before the committee can formally act on legislation during the 2022 session, which begins in January.
Part of the reason lawmakers can look at raising their pensions is that the 54-year-old Legislature Retirement System — which provides benefits to retired legislators — currently has far more money in it than is required to pay current and future benefits. That’s in contrast to the much larger teacher and state employee pension systems, which are funded in the 70%-to-80% range.
The legislative system, like those for other employees, has been funded partially by payroll deductions and partially by the state. But in recent years it’s been in such good shape that officials said taxpayers didn’t have to add anything to the fund.
Author(s): James Salzer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Publication Date: 18 May 2021
Publication Site: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution