Federal Retirees to Receive 2 Percent COLA

Federal retirees will receive a 2 percent monthly cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) next year, based on Department of Labor data announced today.

The increase, which takes effect starting with December 2017 benefits—that is payable starting in January 2018—applies to all federal and military retirees and Social Security recipients. It will be the largest COLA boost since 2012. In 2017, retirees only had a 0.3 percent adjustment to their monthly benefits.

By law, COLAs are based on the CPI-W, or Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Right now on Capitol Hill, NTEU is working to block harmful proposals advanced by the administration and some lawmakers that would eliminate COLAs for retirees under Federal Employees Retirement System and significantly reduce COLAs for those covered by the Civil Service Retirement System.

NTEU is also determined to fight other recurring proposals aimed at replacing the formula used to determine the COLA with a “chained CPI.” Over a 10-year period, a chained CPI could reduce federal annuities by thousands of dollars, limiting the ability of federal retirees to keep pace with increasing costs for health care and other consumer goods.