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 2019, the recommendation by the Governor, the House, and the Senate was a 3% increase on the first $13,000 of your annual benefit.
On July 26, 2018, the FY 2019 state budget was signed into law and it included a retiree COLA (Cost-of-Living Adjustment). If you retired prior to July 1, 2017, and were otherwise eligible, your July 31, 2018 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, 2018, for a maximum increase of $390/year or $32.50/month.
The next potential COLA may, or may not, be recommended by the Legislature in the FY 2020 state budget.
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.