The 2021 COLA is Here

Jan 20, 2021, 11:54 AM

The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2021 is 0.987%.

This COLA applies to: 

  • All retired members of MSEP 2000 and MSEP 2011
  • MSEP retirees who have reached their 65% COLA cap
  • MSEP retirees first employed on or after August 28, 1997

See information below for legislators and MSEP members who have not yet reached their COLA cap.

The purpose of a COLA for any type of pay or retirement benefit is to help you cope with inflation. COLAs help you maintain your purchasing power as inflation increases the cost of various items you buy.

According to Missouri state law, each January, MOSERS must compare the average (CPI) for the calendar year just completed (2020) to the average CPI from the prior year (2019) to determine the percentage change between the two years. For general state employees, COLAs are based on 80% of the percentage increase in the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) from one year to the next. The maximum increase is 5% (minimum 0%).

In determining the CPI, the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates changes in the costs of a number of items each month. To learn more about the CPI, see the Bureau of Labor Statistics' answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on their website.

We have more information about the COLAs in the Retiree section of our website, including historical information on the following topics:

History of Annual COLA Rates

2021 COLA Calculation Memo

COLA Video

COLA Exceptions for legislators and MSEP members who have not yet reached their COLA cap:

If you are a retired legislator who took office after July 1, 2000, your benefit will be adjusted according to the percentage increase in pay for an active member of the general assembly. No other COLAs will be provided.

If you retired under MSEP, and were employed before August 28, 1997, you will receive a minimum 4% COLA until accumulated COLAs reach 65% of your initial base benefit. This is called your COLA cap. Upon reaching the cap, your COLA will be calculated like other retirees and will range from 0% to 5% each year depending on the increase in the Consumer Price Index.

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