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  • STRS Ohio Watchdogs

As prices soar, cost-of-living increases for pensions in many states are not keeping up

“I keep a budget of everything I spend," said retired teacher Jan Stewart. "Now everything’s gone up. Through no fault of my own, I’m in this position.”

Like many Americans, Jan Stewart is facing a new problem this fall: how to live on an income that stays the same while her cost of living skyrockets.

A retired elementary school teacher in Toledo, Ohio, Stewart receives a monthly check from the pension she paid into for 31 years. But the size of her checks, and those of 157,000 former Ohio teachers like her, does not rise even when basic costs of living do. Public pension recipients across the nation are in the same boat.

Public pensions in at least 31 states have reduced cost-of-living increases or eliminated them altogether in recent years as their payout obligations swelled beyond the dollars they had on hand to cover them. Firefighters, teachers, police and other workers in four other states that have cut the increases entirely — Iowa, New Jersey, Washington and Wyoming — are now behind the eight ball.

By Gretchen Morgenson Nov. 19, 2021

Those of you who followed our old website know that there were many news articles posted there. From time to time, we repost those articles here, on our new website, to preserve and share them with new Watchdogs. This is one of those articles.



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