Q. I became a CSRS retiree as of Nov. 30. I received my first pension payment for December in early January. I always thought that I would be eligible for my first cost-of-living adjustment starting in 2014. But the retirement article “2013: Employee pay is frozen, but retirees get 1.7% COLA,” states: “If you’ve been retired for less than one year when you become eligible for a COLA, the amount you get will be proportional to the number of months you’ve been on the annuity roll. For example, if you were on the annuity roll in June 2012, you’d receive half of the 2013 COLA.” According to this statement, I was on the annuity roll in December 2012. Would I receive a COLA equal to 1/12 of 1.7 percent?

The president has stated that there will be no pay for feds if the debt ceiling is not raised. Does that include retirement payments?

A. 1. You’d be entitled to a full COLA in January 2014.

2. While it remains to be seen, it’s unlikely because the money to pay retirement benefits comes from a trust fund, not an appropriation.


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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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