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2019 COLA Determined

[Posted on 01/16/2019 at 4:00 PM]

COLA Exceptions

Legislators and MSEP Members Who Have Not Yet Reached Their COLA Cap 
If you are a retired legislator who took office after July 1, 2000, your benefit will be adjusted according to the percentage increase in pay for an active member of the general assembly. No other COLAs will be provided.

If you retired under MSEP, and were hired before August 28, 1997, you will receive a minimum 4% COLA until accumulated COLAs reach 65% of your initial base benefit. This is called your COLA cap. Upon reaching the cap, your COLA will be calculated like other retirees and will range from 0% to 5% each year depending on the increase in the CPI.

The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2019 is 1.954%. This will be effective for MSEP retirees who have reached their original 65% COLA cap, or who were first hired on or after August 28th, 1997, and for members retired under MSEP 2000 regardless of date of hire (see COLA Exceptions on the sidebar for legislators and MSEP members who have not yet reached their COLA cap).

The purpose of a COLA for any type of pay or retirement benefit is to help you cope with inflation. COLAs help you maintain your purchasing power as inflation increases the cost of various items you buy.

According to Missouri state law, each January MOSERS must compare the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the calendar year just completed (2018) to the average CPI from the prior year (2017) to determine the percentage change between the two years. COLAs are based on 80% of the percentage increase in the average CPI from one year to the next.

In determining the CPI, the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates changes in the costs of a number of items each month. To learn more about the CPI, see the Bureau of Labor Statistics' answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on their website. MOSERS has more information about the 2019 COLA in the Retiree section of our website, including historical information on the following topics:

History of Annual COLA Rates

2019 COLA Calculation Memo

We also have a brief video in our Retiree Video Library that explains how COLAs are determined.

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Missouri State Employees' Retirement System
Address: 907 Wildwood Dr., Jefferson City, MO 65102 Phone: 800.827.1063 URL: Email: Founded On: September 1, 1957