When Will the COLA Increase Appear in My Annuity Check?

I am a federal retiree. When will I see the annual COLA increase in my annuity payments?

Q: I am a federal retiree and receive regular annuity payments. When will the latest cost of living adjustment (COLA) show up in my checks?

A: According to the Office of Personnel Management, it goes into effect December 1 to ensure that it arrives in retirees’ January payments. This is the statement from OPM’s website addressing that question:

Cost-of-Living Adjustments are effective each December first. The adjustment appears in your payment on the first business day of January, which is when your benefit for December is paid. Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and FERS Special Cost-of-Living Adjustments are not provided until age 62, except for disability, survivor benefits, and other special provision retirements. FERS disability retirees get the adjustment, except when they are receiving a disability annuity based on 60 percent of their high-3 average salary. Also, under FERS, if you have a CSRS component, the component is subject to the CSRS COLA calculation.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.