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Summer field trips — The results are in and we will have 2, yes, TWO, field trip opportunities this summer. There was enough interest in both theater outings that we will organize both summer trip options for our members and guests—"Oklahoma" at the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theater and "Leading Ladies" at the Maples Repertory Theater in Macon. Dinner and ticket reservations and ticket payment will be due by the May16th meeting. Please fill out the appropriate form or both forms if you want to go Wednesday and Friday. Send your form(s) and payment to Marilyn Stone (address on the forms) by the May 16th meeting. Here is the Arrow Rock form and the Maples Theatre form. Click on the name of the show for information about "Oklahoma" or "Leading Ladies." (Posted 04/22/17).

Follow-up to the March meeting — Our speaker for the March meeting was Aline Kultgen, who spoke about growing up in German-occupied France during World War II. She mentioned that her daughter, Rachel Hall, had a compilation of short stories inspired by the family's experiences which had been published as a book. It is a fictional account, but is historically accurate. The title of the book is Heirlooms, and it's available on Amazon, at the Columbia Public Library, and at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Columbia Mall. (Posted 03/29/17).

Staying alert to scams — At the March meeting, our Informative-Protective/Wellness chair, Virginia Propp, reported on how we can be more aware of scams. She mentioned a web site that provides up-to-date information about the newest scams. For that web site, click here. (Posted 03/21/17).

Part time job opening — The University of Missouri’s Assessment Resource Center is beginning the process of reviewing and updating CBASE assessment items. They are looking for retired high school teachers to conduct the reviews for math, science, English, and social studies. Ideally, they would like to have 2 teachers per subject area. This will be a rubric-based review that will start in mid-to-late February. The pay will be $500.00 for an estimated 20 hours of work. If you are interested, please contact Jo Anna O’Neill. (Posted 02/01/17).

Do you want to substitute? — Harrisburg Public Schools is seeking substitute teachers for all grade levels. There are two campuses—elementary/middle school (in connected buildings) and high school which is a one minute drive away. For more information or to apply, call the Administration Office at 573-875-5604. (Posted 02/01/17).

Change in PSRS/PEERS policy regarding COLAs — Since August 2011, COLAs for the Public School and Education Employee Retirement Systems (PSRS/PEERS) have been determined according to the Funding Stabilization Policy adopted by the PSRS/PEERS Board of Trustees which bases each COLA on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U). This policy has helped stabilize contribution rates and improve the pre-funded status of the Systems, while also providing inflation protection for benefit recipients. PSRS/PEERS provides COLAs for eligible benefit recipients to help their retirement income keep pace with the cost of living during times of inflation. Under that 2011 policy, there was a 2 percent COLA if the change in the CPI-U for the preceeding year was less than 5 percent and a 5 percent COLA if the CPI-U was 5 percent or higher. Because of the low CPI-U over the previous five years, this policy resulted in retirees receiving more than the actual CPI-U.

At the June 14, 2016, PSRS/PEERS Board of Trustees meeting, the Board voted unanimously to amend the Actuarial Funding Policy. This change was deemed necessary due primarily to improved life expectancies (mortality rates) of retirees and lower expected investment returns, both of which have a significant impact on the financial condition of the System. There is only one change from the previous policy. Going forward, in any year when the CPI-U is below 2 percent, there will be no COLA. Retirees will continue to receive a 2 percent COLA when the CPI-U is between 2 percent and 5 percent, and a 5 percent COLA when the CPI-U is 5 percent or higher. This change in the way COLAs are granted is expected to save the retirement system $2.5 billion. If you are interested in a more detailed explanation of the change in policy, you may read the whole article on the PSRS/PEERS web site by clicking here. (posted 07/16/16)