Q. I am a FERS retiree. My effective retirement date is Nov. 1, 2010. I turned 62 in April 2016, which means I won’t be getting my separate annuity equal to a portion of my Social Security. When I retired in 2010, I was told that when I turned 62 I would get my COLAs adjusted so that my retirement pay will be adjusted up with all FERS COLAs since 2010. Can you tell me if this is correct?

A: No, it isn’t. COLAs aren’t retroactive. So, in your case, here’s what will happen. Because you reached age 62 in 2016, on Jan. 1, 2017, you will receive the full amount of the FERS COLA authorized for that year, assuming there is one. I said assuming because the payment of COLAs has been spotty. There were no COLA increases in 2010, 2011 or 2015. And the increase in 2016 was only 1.7 percent.


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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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