Most of these have limited impact on current retirees, but changing inflation calculations and capped annual increases really add up.
Arizona: Retired and current active members Replaced the Permanent Benefit Increase (PBI) with a compounding COLA to be based on CPI for the Phoenix region, with a 2% annual cap. This was done to save money over time, even if people see the same check today it’s noticeably lower in 10 years. Over a possible 40+ year retirement the difference is huge.
Arkansas: Current retirees Reduced automatic COLA from 3%, compounded, to the lesser of 3% or CPI, compounded. Again a single year at 2% compound vs 3% compound reduces outstanding debt by 1%. Over 20+ years it makes a huge difference.
Colorado: (2018) Retired and current active state employees. Suspended COLA for two years(2018 and 2019) They did more, but that alone reduced their liabilities by around 5%. They had already done a similar thing in 2010 by requiring retirees to wait over 1 year for their first COLA and reducing the cap from 3.5% to 2%.
I could go on but you find a lot of these changes that often add up to a 10+% reduction in benefits and thus costs.
If I sell a bond paying 5% interest, then say sorry only paying 4% that’s a lower liability.