Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)
This year’s (2021) COLA rate is 1.812%.
Payees may be eligible to receive COLAs on their retirement allowance each July. The adjustment is tied to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index. A member must be retired at least one year as of July 1 to be eligible to receive that year’s increase.
COLAs are effective with the July benefit payment, and are based upon changes in the Consumer Price Index. A payee must be retired for at least twelve months before they are eligible for their first COLA. For example, a payee with a retirement date of July 2018 would become eligible for their first COLA in July 2019. A payee with a retirement date of August 2018 would become eligible for their first COLA in July 2020.
Members will see the COLA beginning with their July 31, 2020 pension check/deposit. The formula used by the state is not the same that Social Security uses. The COLA rate is calculated using a formula provided in state law and is based on the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the most recent calendar year ending December 31, compared to the CPI for the prior calendar year.
For more information, please visit the Maryland State Retirement Agency's website at https://sra.maryland.gov/retirees