Supplemental COLA Funding for City Retirees Receives Final Approval

Date: Jul 25, 2013


Fiscal year 2014 payment of the Supplemental COLA for eligible City retirees received final approval this week, following its inclusion in Mayor Filner’s 2014 budget and two subsequent readings of the ordinance by the City Council. The ordinance amended the Municipal Code to allow funding for the benefit on a pay-as-you-go basis.

The Supplemental COLA, established in 1998, increased the retirement allowance of members (and their survivors) who retired prior to July 1, 1982, and met specific eligibility requirements. Retirement allowances of this group were increased by an amount that raised benefits to the equivalent of 75% purchasing power of the original retirement allowance as of July 1, 1998.

To pay for this benefit, the City Council created a special Supplemental COLA Reserve account of $35 million, plus annual interest. However, the City specified in the Municipal Code that benefits could only be paid until the reserve was depleted. The reserve was projected to be depleted in October 2013, but the Mayor’s budget approved by the City Council provides funding for this benefit for all of fiscal 2014.

Funding for fiscal year 2015 and beyond will be part of the annual budget process and subject to City Council approval.   

San Diego Unified Port District staff is still addressing the issue for eligible Port employees beyond October 2013.

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