Retirement Benefits

How Your Retirement Date Affects COLA

The year you retire is a key component of the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), as CalPERS members become COLA eligible two years after their retirement date.

This means members who retired in 2018 received their first COLA this May. Members who retired before 2018 also received their annual COLA increase

Another example of the two-year eligibility is members who retired in 2019 won’t see an annual COLA until May 2021.

At a Glance

What is COLA?

COLA is a benefit to ensure your value of money at retirement keeps up with the rate of inflation.

COLA is dependent on three factors:

  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban Consumers (CPI, 1967)
  • Your employer contracted COLA provision
  • The year you retired

Contracted COLA Provision

Most state and all school agencies contract for a 2% COLA provision, while public agencies may contract for 3%, 4%, or 5%.

Find out how much your COLA will be and how it’s calculated on the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) page on our website.