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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, October 26, 2018

NorCo Retirees To Get 1.7% COLA in 2019

John Spagnola
At the request of Executive Lamont McClure, Northampton County's Retirement Board voted 6-0 at their October 25 meeting to grant a 1.7% cost-of-living increase (COLA) to retirees, effective January 1, 2019.
Voting for this increase were McClure, County Council members Ron Heckman and Bill McGee, Fiscal Affairs Director Steve Barron, employee representative Thomas Guth, Jr., and retiree representative Gerald E. "Jerry" Seyfried. It will be the first COLA granted to retirees since John Stoffa was Executive.

Under state law, a COLA is currently limited to the increase in the Consumer Price Index for the 12-month period ending August 31, 2018. The Board has no longer has discretion to award a COLA for prior years.

The COLA will apply to all employees who retired in 2017 or in prior years. It will have no application to employees who retire in 2018.

The amount required to fund this increase is $3,451,553.

Fund Manager and former Philadelphia Eagle John Spagnola warned the Board that the stock market is undergoing a period of volatility right now. He attributes this to the trade war with China, rising interest rates from the Federal Reserve and the upcoming mid-term elections.

The pension fund was at $416 million on September 30, while the OPEB (other post employment benefits) was at $42 million.

Spagnola predicts slower growth ahead, saying the economy was on a "sugar high" as a result of the tax cuts

What if the House flips? Spagnola said that the stock market liked mixed government.

Erratum, 2:44 pm: My story originally stated that Bill Guth was the employee representative. It is, in fact, Thomas Guth, Jr. I apologize to both Guths and my readers for my error.


Anonymous said...

All that tax ,money going into raises? Do these people vote to give themselves raises. Taxpayers beware!

Anonymous said...

So if the market is so volatile, goes that means that there is a good possibility that McClure may not adjust the remaining employee steps, salaries etc. Then the non-union employees get screwed once again.

Anonymous said...

Pretty much they dont care