Some Louisiana state retirees to get cost-of-living increase

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NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – NOVEMBER 15: Gov. John Bel Edwards talks to media at the Case Closed Barbershop on November 15, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Louisiana residents head to the polls tomorrow to vote in the gubernatorial runoff election between Republican candidate Eddie Rispone and incumbent Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana is giving a cost-of-living boost to certain retired state workers and teachers whose current pension benefits give them earnings below the poverty line.

Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed into law the measure by Sen. Ed Price, a Gonzales Democrat. The House and Senate unanimously backed the bill, which took effect immediately upon the governor’s signature.

The change will increase payments to about 1,200 retirees or their beneficiaries in the state’s pension systems for state workers, teachers and school employees.

People who receive less than $1,450 in pension payments will get an increase equal to $300 or the amount needed to get them to $1,450, whichever is less. The retired workers had to have reached 30 years of service and been retired for at least 15 years, Price said.

The increased benefits will be paid with excess investment earnings in the retirement systems and are estimated to cost about $19 million.

A separate, one-time lump sum payment will be given to retirees in the state police system who receive a monthly benefit of $2,500 or less.

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The bill is filed as Senate Bill 24.

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