Lawmakers disagree on bonus amount for retired state employees

Published: Feb. 3, 2022 at 8:04 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A bonus for retired state employees is making its way through the statehouse, but there are disagreements on how much that bonus should be. Gov. Kay Ivey and lawmakers say retirees will get a bonus this year.

The governor even mentioned it in her state of the state address.

“With inflation reported at an all-time high in the last 40 years, a lot of our retirees are having a hard time right now,” said Liane Kelly, executive director of the Alabama Retired State Employee Association.

Kelly says due to living on a fixed income and through a pandemic, retirees are struggling. After a bonus bill failed to pass last year, she thinks now is the time and lawmakers agree, just not on the price.

“We could’ve moved forward with it last year but gave our gentlemen’s agreement and now they want to renege on the agreement they put out there,” said Senator Bobby Singleton. “We were at $3 and we back off the three down to two in terms of a compromise on last year,” said Singleton.

“I would ask why is his such a higher price, look we’re just trying to figure out how best to help out our retirees,” said Senator Greg Albritton, sponsor of SB111.

Senate Bill 11

  • Filed by Senator Del Marsh
  • Rate of $2 per month times the number of years worked
  • $300 floor
  • No cap

Senate Bill 111

  • From Governor Kay Ivey’s budget
  • Rate of $1.25 per month times the number of years worked
  • No floor
  • No cap

“The difference is a retiree that worked 25 years would their bonus would be $375 and that’s before tax which would make the bonus maybe ever less than $300,” said Kelly.

Kelly says she’s calling on retirees to make their voices heard.

“We’re starting meetings around the state to get them active in this to get them in contact with their legislators and which one we prefer,” said Kelly.

Their preferred bill of course the one with the $2 rate, but both of the bills made it through the committee and head to the Senate floor sometime next week for debate.

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