Act 656 (SB 5) passed in the 2022 General Session of the Louisiana Legislature authorizing a ONE-TIME ONLY supplemental benefit payment for eligible retirees and beneficiaries. This legislation was sponsored by Senator Ed Price, Chair of the Senate Retirement Committee, and LASERS because the average rank-and-file LASERS retiree had not received a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) since 2016. While there were not enough funds in the Experience Account to provide a typical COLA, Act 656 provides some relief in the form of a one-time supplemental payment.

Below is information about the one-time payment, eligibility requirements, and answers to some of your questions.

45,064

Members Impacted

$69 Million

Total Cost

Answers to Your Questions

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THE ONE-TIME ONLY PAYMENT?

Act 656 authorizes a one-time supplemental payment, funded by the System’s Experience Account, to certain retirees and beneficiaries following normal COLA eligibility requirements. LASERS will mail members who qualify for the one-time only payment a notification letter on August 1.

The following requirements must be met as of June 30, 2022 to be eligible:

  1. Retired for at least one year; and,
  2. At least 60 years of age

Any nonretiree beneficiary whose receipt of benefits is not based on the death of a disability retiree, if benefits have been paid to the retiree or beneficiary or to both combined for at least one year, and if the retiree would have attained age sixty by June 30, 2022. Any disability retiree or any nonretiree beneficiary who receives benefits based on the death of a disability retiree, if benefits have been paid to the retiree or beneficiary, or to both combined, for at least one year as of June 30, 2022.

HOW MUCH WILL I RECEIVE IF I’M ELIGIBLE?

The payment will be equal to the lesser of:

  1. The retiree or beneficiary’s current monthly benefit.
  2. $2,000.

The payment will equal the member’s gross pay (capped at $2,000). There will be no deductions made except for federal tax.

IF I’M ELIGIBLE, WHEN SHOULD I EXPECT TO RECEIVE MY ONE-TIME PAYMENT?

The payment is to be made no later than September 15, 2022.

SHOULD I CALL LASERS WITH ELIGIBILITY QUESTIONS?

Please DO NOT call LASERS to find out if you qualify for the one-time only payment. That determination will not be finalized until our eligible retiree list and payment amounts are reviewed and audited by staff. If you qualify, LASERS will mail notification letters on August 1. Notification will also be posted to your myLASERS account prior to August 1.

The LASERS Board of Trustees considers the legislatively enacted mechanism for the funding and granting of an annual COLA for eligible system retirees a significant issue and is committed to finding a more reliable COLA mechanism. Learn more here.