Nov. 25—There won't be a cost of living adjustment in 2023 for retired Crawford County employees.
At Wednesday's meeting of the Crawford County Retirement Board, the county's three commissioners said they couldn't support a possible cost of living adjustment for next year for the county's 350 retired employees.
Under Pennsylvania's County Code, the county's three commissioners plus the county treasurer and the county's chief clerk serve as the retirement board.
Any adjustment to county pension benefits would be based on the federal Consumer Price Index (CPI) issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The latest CPI report, issued on Nov. 10, puts inflation running at an annual rate of 7.7 percent.
Commissioners said they couldn't support an increase for county retirees given the county's proposed 2023 budget currently is $1.1 million out of balance. Commissioners said they want a 2023 balanced budget without having to raise county taxes.
Commissioners also cited the condition of overall economy.
The county's pension funds are invested in the stock market and multiple stock market indices all have had negative returns so far in 2022.
Through Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, an index of 30 prominent US stocks, is down 5.90 percent for the year.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500, an index of 500 of the largest market capitalized stocks, is down 15.50 percent through Wednesday.
The S&P MidCap 400, an index of 400 midsized companies with market capitalization of $3.7 billion to $14.6 billion, is down 10.34 percent through Wednesday.
The S&P SmallCap 600, an index of 600 small firms with market capitalization of $850 million to $3.7 billion, is down 12.26 percent through Wednesday.
The last time the county approved a cost of living adjustment for retired employees was 2007.
Keith Gushard can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at email@example.com.