Retired Louisiana teachers, state police could get increased benefits

Louisiana lawmakers are considering the first benefit bonus for retired Louisiana teachers since 2016.

Senate Bill 6, drafted by Sen. Ed Price, D-Gonzales, would offer eligible retired teachers a 2% increase in their retirement benefits. It would apply to retirees over the age of 60 and to those who have retired due to disability.

Price’s bill was introduced by a Senate finance committee without objection.

If the legislature approves, the increase would go to some 76,000 retired teachers who would see an average monthly benefit increase of $42, said Katherine Whitney, director of the Teacher Retirement System of Louisiana. The bill would add an additional $369 million to the system’s basic pension fund, she said.

The increase would come into effect on July 1.

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A similar increase in pension benefits for State Police also advanced from the Senate Committee. Right now, the average annual benefit for a state police retiree is about $57,243, said Kevin Reed, executive director of the Louisiana State Police Retirement System.

The increase in state police pension benefits would cost the system’s basic pension fund about $9.5 million, according to the tax note of the invoice. The average monthly benefit increase for retired state police would be $65.60, Reed said.

Both bills go to the Senate for a full vote.

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