Union Files Lawsuit Over Freeze on Cost-of-Living Increases

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio union’s lawsuit aims to block a planned freeze on costs-of-living increases that would affect nearly 80,000 retired school workers.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the state Association of Public School Employees filed its lawsuit Thursday against the School Employees Retirement System.

The union criticized the system’s investment decisions in the lawsuit, saying it overpaid financial managers and investment consultants.

The SERS board voted in October to impose the three-year freeze citing “short-term and long-term financial challenges.” The freeze goes into effect March 23.

Union retirees, who have an average monthly pension of $1,223, have been receiving a 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment one year after retirement.

SERS officials say the freeze is legal, prudent and in the best interest of the retirement system’s members.