Current city of Rockville employees please note that the mayor and council and city management have not given a cost-of-living adjustment to retirees for the past six calendar years whereas active city employees have received COLA’s of 14 percent from fiscal 2008 to 2014.
Retirees should be given the same consideration as active employees, and ultimately, the same city revenue is the source of funds for the COLA for both current employees and for retirees and should be evaluated for affordability on the same basis. The average public pension in the United States is funded at 70.5 percent and 78 percent of all public pension plans provide an annual COLA. The city of Rockville’s pension plan is funded at 80.7 percent and is projected to be 92.5 percent funded by 2020.
I have been retired from the city for the past nine years and have only received two 1 percent COLA’s during this time. I want to bring this to your attention because someday you will be in my shoes! With the price of insurance, gas and food increasing it is only fair to help retirees keep a level playing field against inflation.
I have made a recommendation to the mayor and council that they add a retiree representative to the pension board. Both Montgomery County and Fairfax County governments have a retired elected representative on their board. This new representative would make sure that the pension plan was viable and the investments were earning the best possible return and that retirees’ voices would be heard going forward.
It is in your interest to try and turn around the culture at the city to equitably consider COLA’s for both active employees and retirees. Otherwise, someday you may be forgotten like me and the other dedicated retirees whose past service was essential to the citizens of Rockville yet are being neglected by the current leadership of the city.
David B. Rowland, Bowie
The writer says he retired in 2005.