Oklahoma public retirees want cost-of-living boost

Ponca City Now - November 16, 2014 8:39 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Representatives of Oklahoma’s public retirees who have not had a cost-of-living adjustment since 2008 say the time has come to increase their pension incomes now that the state’s underfunded pension systems are regaining financial strength.

Managers of some of Oklahoma’s biggest retirement systems say they are financially stronger than they were just four years ago. Unfunded liability has declined by $6.5 billion and the funded ratio of the systems has improved from 58 percent four years ago to 74.4 percent.

The turnaround has emboldened officials at the Oklahoma Public Employees Association to make cost-of-living adjustments for state pensioners a top priority when the 2015 Legislature convenes in February.

OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley says state workers made sacrifices to strengthen public pension systems, and now retirees deserve a raise.

 

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