Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: April 19, 2011
Senate calls for COLA funding; move will slash billions in unfunded
Oklahoma has taken another step toward addressing the $16 billion
in unfunded liability facing the state’s public pension systems.
House Bill 2132, which was authored by Senate President Pro Tempore
Brian Bingman and presented by Senator Mike Mazzei, chairman of
the Select Committee on Pensions, was approved Tuesday on a bipartisan
vote of 33 to 13.
“The most important thing this measure does is to require
the legislature to fund any cost of living increases (COLAS) instead
of leaving them to be absorbed by the pension systems,” said
Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “This reform alone should reduce our unfunded
liability by more than $5 billion.”
Mazzei said a recent change by Moody’s Investment Services
underscores the importance of reforming Oklahoma’s pension
systems. Moody’s announced it would now include a state’s
unfunded pension liability when determining a state’s credit
“Failing to reduce our unfunded liability could result in
massive tax hikes, lower bond ratings, and even more budget cuts
to keep our pension systems functional,” said Mazzei, R-Tulsa.
“Making these decisions today means avoiding those scenarios,
and ensuring the long-term stability of public pensions.”
HB 2132 returns to the House of Representatives for consideration
of Senate amendments.
For more information contact:
Sen. Bingman: (405) 521-5605
Sen. Mazzei: (405) 521-5675