COLA and relocation


Q. I’m currently employed as a U.S. Probation Officer for the federal judiciary. I recently volunteered to relocate to another office within the same agency/district. My new office (New Bern, NC) has a lower cost-of-living adjustment than my previous office (Raleigh, NC). Due to short notice, I was unable to sell my home in Raleigh prior to moving to New Bern. As a result, I continue to pay a mortgage and properties taxes at my previous duty station, Raleigh. The federal judiciary did not authorize any relocation expenses. However, I’m looking for literature governing COLA disbursements for situations similar to mine. Specifically, although relocation expenses were not authorized by my agency, am I entitled to maintain my COLA in Raleigh until my house sells in Raleigh?

A. No, you can’t. There is no provision in law or regulation that would permit that.


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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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