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Q: When will I receive a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)?

A: Cost-of-Living increases are not automatically granted.  By law, legislators (the Pennsylvania General Assembly) must enact legislation granting cost-of- living increases.  No COLA has been granted since 2002. COLAs are not granted for survivor annuitants, as this would require a change in the Pennsylvania Constitution.

After the bill becomes law, PSERS calculates and adjusts your new monthly benefit amount according to the provisions in the law.  PSERS’ role is that of an administrator of the benefit and not of one who grants COLA’s.

Note:  You must have reached one of the superannuation/normal retirement qualifications before PSERS can apply any COLA to your monthly check. 

Minimum Requirements for Superannuation (Normal) Retirement for a Class T-C or Class T-D Member

35 years of service at any age
30 years of service and age 60
1 year of service at age 62 
If you retired before reaching one of the qualifications, you must wait until you would have reached one of the qualifications as if you had not retired.  PSERS would apply the COLA the July after you would have reached normal retirement.

Member retires with 36 years of service

COLA is applied according to the legislation.

Member retires with 27 years of service at age 56 as of April 2005.

Member would reach superannuation at age 60 with 31 years of service in April 2009. The COLA would be applied July 2009.

Information about this legislation may be found by clicking here.