I’m voting YES on Proposition 125. Prop 125 changes the way that annual increases of pensions are calculated for certain Arizona public employees. It is unfortunate that this technical change is put to the voters. The reason is the state constitution prohibits changes to pension benefits for retired workers. Any change in the state constitution must be voted on by the people.
A yes vote allows the annual increase set at 2% to be changed to a COLA (cost of living adjustment). It is believed that this change will still allow retired employees to maintain a fair benefit while helping to keep retirement funds solvent.
A no vote leaves the system as it is.
This is a step in reevaluating public employee pensions to make sure that they meet several criteria: that they provide what was originally promised to employees when they were hired; and that pension costs do not overrun governments’ ability to budget with limited income possibilities.
In the future we will need to look at all state pension plans to make sure they can perform the most important function of providing a secure, sustained benefit fo r all employees.