The Arkansas State Employees Association is gearing up to oppose legislation that would reduce their retirement benefits and likely require increased employee contributions as well.

The board of the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System has already voted to recommend changes that would end the guaranteed annual 3 percent cost of living adjustment, which is compounded annually. In its place would be the ability of the board to pay less, maybe nothing, and take the Consumer Price Index into account. Any increases would not be compounded. It also wants to reduce interest paid on employee contributions, change the formula on figuring retirement to produce a 5 percent reduction in payments and increase employee contributions from 5 to 6 percent of pay.

Shell bills have been filed to alter terms of other public retirement systems as well — highway, State Police, judicial and teachers. The steps are being taken to reduce unfunded liabilities of the system that otherwise can be met should shortages arise by increased state contributions.

Said an ASEA notice to employees:

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ASEA is ready to defeat the proposal to reduce state employees’ retirement Cost of Living Adjustment!

Tuesday we are turning on our Legislative Action Center. This will allow you to easily send an email to the retirement committee members asking them to not reduce your COLA. We need everyone’s help! Keep in touch with our Facebook page and ASEA blog for all the latest news.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/arkansasstateemployeesassociation/

Blog: https://aseaar.wordpress.com/

Next Wednesday at Noon we are having a meeting at ASEA’s office at 1301 W. 7th St. in downtown Little Rock. ALL STATE EMPLOYEES ARE WELCOME! This affects all of you! Lunch will be provided, and Executive Director John Bridges will discuss our strategic plan and how you can help.

Please RSVP to the event we created on Facebook for Wednesday’s meeting or email scarpenter@aseaar.org. Please spread the word!