MA House OKs Pension Change Measure

April 27, 2010 ( – A bill that sailed through the Massachusetts House of Representatives on a unanimous vote would give cities and towns in the state until 2040 to fully fund their pension programs.

A news report in The Republican, said the measure allows communities to establish early retirement plans for some employees and delay payments for pension liabilities. The full funding deadline is up from the current 2030.

The bill also allows cities and towns to increase the base on which a retired employee’s cost of living increase is calculated. Currently, employees can receive a cost of living increase on the first $12,000 of their retirement check. The bill would allow cities and towns to increase the base in increments of $1,000.

The bill would cut municipal jobs by encouraging employees to retire early. In order to be eligible, employees would need at least 20 years of service. C
ommunities could only replace 30% of the total salaries of the early retirees in the fiscal year that starts July 1, 45% the following year, and 60% by the third year.

The measure now goes to the state Senate.