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COLA (Cost-of-Living Adjustment) Updates (MSRB)

FY 2021 COLA STATUS

There have not been any recent developments related to a retiree COLA, which is typically included in the Commonwealth's fiscal year state budget.

Treasurer Goldberg has submitted a letter to the Governor on behalf of the Retirement Board and all state and teacher retirees advocating for the inclusion of a COLA in the FY'21 Commonwealth budget.

The Board will continue to monitor any legislative budget activity. If and when there are any updates, Board staff will communicate them via this website, Facebook, Twitter and email.

What is a COLA?

The COLA is a Cost-of-Living Adjustment for eligible retired state employees receiving a pension. A COLA is handled by the Legislature, which includes Senators, Representatives and the Governor. Each year, they may or may not recommend a COLA amount to include in the state's annual budget. For FY 2020, the recommendation by the Governor, the House, and the Senate was a 3% increase on the first $13,000 of a member's annual pension benefit.

During July 2019, the FY 2020 state budget was signed into law and it included a retiree COLA (Cost-of-Living Adjustment). If you retired prior to July 1, 2018, and were otherwise eligible, your July 31, 2019 pension payment included the COLA. The COLA allowed an increase of 3% of the first $13,000 of your annual benefit paid in monthly installments, effective July 1, 2019, for a maximum increase of $390/year or $32.50/month.

If you have additional questions about the COLA, please contact your local State Senator and Representative. Visit https://malegislature.gov/ to find your Legislator’s contact information.

As always, you can view your benefit pay statements online at www.mass.gov/payinfo. Your ID is on your statement below your name.

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