SEANC takes retirement system to task for COLA comment

Jul 29, 2016

Even though the legislature may have gone home, the fight for better pay, health care and retirement security continues for SEANC.

As you can see in the video above, SEANC Lobbyist Flint Benson spoke out last week at a Retirement Systems Board of Trustees meeting on several issues.

Benson, a former SEANC president and retired state employee himself, took particular offense to the comment from a retirement system official that the system was in good shape because it doesn’t hand out cost-of-living adjustments “willy-nilly.” In his remarks, he set the record straight.

“The fund in good shape because state employees both past and present put 6 percent of their salaries into it and because the legislature has fully funded it,” Benson said. “What has been abysmal is the rate of return that has been in the bottom 10 percent (nationally) for the last 6 years. We should be more concerned about that and high investment fees than we are about COLAs bankrupting the system.”

The board planned to discuss state Treasurer Janet Cowell’s decision to join two corporate boards earlier this year after two trustees voiced concern, but decided instead to “study” the matter and discuss it at the next meeting. If you’ll recall, SEANC’s Board of Governors called on Cowell to resign from either the two corporate boards or her position as treasurer because of the obvious conflicts of interest that may arise.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for October.