Retirement dates and COLA


Q. I am CSRS, planning on retiring at the end of 2012. I am debating retiring either Dec 31, 2012, or Jan. 4, 2013. What is the effect of each date on my January 2014 cost-of-living adjustment. I know that if I retire on Dec 31, 2012, my COLA in January 2014 will be 11/12 of the Consumer Price Index. If I retire on Jan. 4, 2013, will my Jan. 2014 CPI be 11/12 or 10/12 of the CPI?

A. If you retire Dec. 31, you’ll be on the annuity roll in January 2013 and receive 11/12ths of the 2014 cost-of-living adjustment. If you waited until Jan. 4, 2013, you wouldn’t be on the annuity roll until February. As a result, you’d lose one month of annuity and your 2014 COLA would only be 10/12ths.


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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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