The Teachers Retirement System Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote today on a proposal of Gov. Sonny Perdue. He has asked for a change in the promise of benefits to retirees. Perdue wants them to change the wording regarding two (1 percent and 1/2 percent) cost of living increases per year.
The governor wants the word "automatic" to be changed to the effect: the trustees "may" grant an increase. TRS is solvent and in no financial trouble; Perdue wants to raid the program for his own agenda.
Retirees generally plow every cent of their benefits back into the Georgia economy. They worked hard, paid in a percent of their salaries toward the program and listened to the Republican mantra: "personal responsibility."
The COLA increases help with inflation, but do not match it. For example, MCG just sent out notification that the "BC/BS over 65" premium will go from $82 a month to $170, a whopping increase of more than 100 percent for Georgia state retirees whom the governor is trying to stiff on COLA.
If Perdue's aim is to hand over his administration to a Democrat in the next election, he has succeeded in enlisting the enthusiastic help of every TRS retiree in Georgia, and quite possibly a large segment of those currently working in the system.
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