RLACEI Board Presents to Council, Advocates for Members


by Beverly J. Clark, Publicity Director • Beverly.Clark@RLACEI.org

On Friday, Sept. 29, the RLACEI Board made public comments before the Los Angeles City Council at its meeting,, requesting that the Council agendize the recommendation from LACERS for an additional 2.6 percent Discretionary COLA.

Members of the RLACEI Board inside LA City Council chambers included (from left) Beverly Anderson, Mark Blunk, Beverly Clark, Nancy Hammoudian (top), Ann Seales, Leo Torres (top) and Ruth Perry.

 RLACEI President Ruth Perry and six RLACEI board members were in attendance to represent and advocate for City Retirees. President Perry spoke before the Councilmembers and strongly encouraged the City Council and the Mayor to consider adopting the 2.6 percent discretionary Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for Retirees that the Board of LACERS has already recommended. RLACEI board members Ann Seales, Beverly Anderson and Mark Blunk also contributed supporting comments.

Remarks by Ruth Perry to the Council

“On April 11, 2023 – more than five months ago – the LACERS Board voted to request that the Council review the possibility of providing a 2.6 percent discretionary cost-of-living-adjustment to the Retirees served by LACERS.

“The LACERS board showed it cares about its Retirees by adopting a staff recommendation that the City Council and Mayor pass an additional 2.6 percent ‘discretionary’ cost-of-living increase to help Retirees through this period of high inflation – the highest we have seen in 40 years.

“What about you, the City’s elected officials? Do you care? The lack of action in the last five months on the proposed 2.6 percent discretionary COLA would indicate you are not concerned.

“The recommendation by the LACERS Board was transmitted to the CAO more than five months ago. Since that time, the City process has gone quiet. Council committees have not taken up the issue. The Council has not even given the courtesy of a thumbs-up or thumbs-down vote so that the 20,000-plus Retirees and beneficiaries know where they stand. The Mayor’s Office has not intervened. Where are our representatives when your constituents need you most?”

A 2.6 percent COLA would be a significant increase in pension benefits, especially for those Retirees on a fixed income. It would help them to keep up with the rising cost of living and maintain their quality of life.

RLACEI’s advocacy on behalf of its members is essential to ensuring that Retirees have the resources they need to live comfortably and independently. RLACEI works to protect and improve the benefits of City Retirees, and its advocacy has made a real difference in the lives of many Retirees.

Retirees, let your concerns be known. The board encourages all Retirees to join in letting the City Council know how important this action is to the financial wellbeing of its constituents.

RLACEI is standing up for the interests of its members. We hope that the LA City Council and the Mayor will take RLACEI’s concerns seriously and take steps to improve the lives of City Retirees.