On Thursday, December 16 the Public Retirement Systems’ Actuarial Committee (PRSAC) approved the actuarial valuation report for the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL). While the TRSL Board of Trustees approved the valuation report in November, PRSAC must also approve the report.
What does this mean for Louisiana retired teachers?
The approval from PRSAC essentially confirms the valuation report, which shows TRSL is in good financial standing. Not only has the funded status of the system jumped from 67.9 percent to 71.8 percent, TRSL was able to pay down nearly $1 billion of the Unfunded Accrued Liability (UAL) or debt. After paying its obligations and administrative costs, TRSL was able to add enough excess earnings to the Experience Account for 2 percent COLA for eligible retirees. Eligible retirees must have received a benefit for at least one year and be at least 60 years of age on July 1, 2022.
The recommended DROP rate must also be adopted by PRSAC before it is considered final and interest can be posted to eligible DROP accounts. The DROP interest rate for members who were eligible to participate in DROP before January 1, 2004 is 12.15%. Members who were eligible to participate in the program on or after January 1, 2004 earn interest at the liquid asset money market rate. The DROP interest rate for members who were eligible to participate in DROP on/after January 1, 2004 is 0.00%. TRSL will communicate with eligible members regarding the posting of DROP interest rates.
Now that the valuation of the system is officially approved, LRTA will monitor for pre-filed bills that pertain to retirement and/or the 2022 COLA. A public notice of intention to introduce a retirement bill in regards to the COLA ran in The Advocate newspaper on December 8 and 9. Retirement bills must be pre-filed by January 28, 2022. Remember: the Louisiana legislature must approve the COLA before it is granted. LRTA will provide information regarding pre-filed retirement bills, any possible ramifications for retirees and the 2022 Regular Legislative Session via the LRTA Email Club, website (www.lrta.net), and LRTA newsletter.
A COLA could be coming soon for retirees! What can you do to help get the COLA approved by the legislature in 2022?
Make sure to stay connected with LRTA. Like our Facebook page and check out our website, www.lrta.net. We will provide you with updates as they become available. You will also receive “Action Alerts” when it is time to contact legislators. LRTA will provide you the tools and advocacy resources to help you contact legislators so they will approve the COLA.
Finally, please encourage fellow retirees to join LRTA if they are not already a member. There’s strength in our numbers! We need all retirees to become advocates through LRTA to assure a COLA is approved by the legislature in 2022.
Rodney R. Watson
LRTA Executive Director