COLA question


Q: I understand that COLAs are based on an effective date of Dec. 1. Under CSRS, if I retire on Oct. 31, will I be eligible for a part (i.e., 1/12) of any COLA due for January 2012, or would I have to wait until January 2013 to see any increase in my pension?

A: If you retire at the end of October, you’d be on the annuity roll in November. Therefore, you’d be eligible for 1/12th of the cost-of-living adjustment, which would show up in your January 2012 annuity payment. Of course, that’s assuming that there will be a COLA. There hasn’t been one for the past two years.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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