COLA and retirement


Q. I am planning on retiring Dec. 31 after 41 years of federal service. Should I retire Nov. 30 instead to take advantage of the 3.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment, and will I be eligible for the COLA that will take effect Dec. 1?

A. If you retired on Nov. 30, you would be eligible for 1/12th of the COLA increase, not the entire amount. That’s because COLAs are based on the number of months that a retiree is on the annuity roll.


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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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