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Senate approves retiree bonus bills

By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News

The Alabama Senate on Tuesday approved bills giving one-time bonuses to retired teachers and employees.

Senate Bill 30 by Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, and Senate Bill 111 by Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Range, provide lump-sum bonuses based on retirees years of service, $2 per month for each year worked.

The original teacher retirement bill put a $300 minimum on the payments, but that was removed earlier in committee. There are no minimum or maximum amounts in either bill.

The bonus for retired teachers will cost about $58.4 million, according to  a fiscal note on the bill. 

Albritton’s employee bill originally offered a $1.25 per month of service bonus, but it was substituted to match the $2 in the educators’ bill. An updated fiscal note wasn’t available.

Lawmakers stopped giving retiree cost of living increases years ago, citing the cost. The one-time bonuses must be approved each year. In 2021, bonus bills cleared a Senate committee, but then stalled.

The bills do not require municipalities and other entities in the Retirement Systems of Alabama to provide the same bonuses, but if they do those localities have to pay the entire cost.

The bills now move to the House.

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