Benefit Adjustments

Dec 10, 2019, 10:23 AM

As a retiree, your annual cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).* You can find the 2020 COLA on our website in mid-January. The rate calculation is based on 80% of the percentage increase in the average CPI from one year to the next with a maximum increase of 5% (minimum 0%). The information necessary to make that calculation will be available in January 2020 and is based on a comparison of changes from 2018 to 2019. In the meantime, here is a reminder of how it is determined each year:

  • The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates the CPI monthly. The CPI is used to measure the rate of inflation and to show larger economic trends on a yearly basis. MOSERS must use the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for our calculations as required by state law. The CPI-U is the most comprehensive measure of inflation in consumer goods and services, including food, housing and transportation. CPI calculations are based on information from average households across the country.
  • The impact of inflation on you personally may be more or less than the national average. Each January, MOSERS compares the average CPI for the calendar year just completed (2019) to the average CPI from the prior year (2018) to determine the percentage change between the two years. You will not receive a COLA less than zero. (In other words, MOSERS does not decrease benefit amounts based on the CPI calculation.)
When are COLAs Payable?

COLAs are payable on the anniversary of your retirement date except for:

  • Retirees who converted from MSEP to MSEP 2000 during the conversion window in 2000 will have COLAs payable in July.
  • Retirees who elected a BackDROP will have COLAs payable on the anniversary of their BackDROP date.
  • Inactive-vested members of the MSEP 2011 will receive their first COLA on the second anniversary of their retirement (rather than the first anniversary).

We will send MOSERS retirees a notice, either in the mail or in their MOSERS Document Express online mailbox, during the month when you get your COLA.

* If you retired under the MSEP, and were hired before August 28, 1997, your COLA may be different. See the MSEP/MSEP 2000 Handbook or our COLA page..
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