Shutterstock imageID: 281684063 By Mark Van Scyoc

Federal retirees to get largest COLA increase in years

More than 67 million Americans, including federal retirees, will get a cost of living increase of 2.8 percent in 2019—the highest since 2012.

The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index, which is determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages, and based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $132,900 from $128,400.

The 2.8 percent increase effects retirees under the Civil Service Retirement System, and those under the Federal Employees Retirement System will receive a 2 percent increase.

Also, for the first time this year, most people who receive Social Security payments will be able to view their COLA notice online through their my Social Security account.

Learn more about the COLAs here.

Reader comments

Thu, Jan 31, 2019

When in 2019 will I see this increase?

Thu, Dec 13, 2018 Jerry

If an individual is retiring on Jan 3 (under CSRS) will they also receive/benefit from the increase?

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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