The 2023 COLA
The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2023 is 5%.
This COLA applies to all retired general state employees who are members of MSEP, MSEP 2000, or MSEP 2011, as well as members of the Judicial Plan and the Judicial Plan 2011.
See information below for legislators and statewide elected officials.
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 (2022) to the average CPI from the prior year (2021) to determine the percentage change between the two years. For general state employees, COLAs are based on 80% of the percentage increase in the average (CPI) from one year to the next. The maximum increase is 5% (minimum 0%).
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 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic's answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on their website.
How MOSERS calculates the COLA for retirees is outlined in state law. The Social Security Administration uses a different process to calculate COLAs for Social Security benefits:
- SSA uses the CPI-W index; MOSERS uses the CPI-U index, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers.
- SSA bases their COLA off the 3rd calendar quarter change; MOSERS COLAs are based on the percentage increase in the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) from one year to the next using data from the entire year.
- The SSA COLA is 100% of the change; the MOSERS COLA is 80% of the percentage increase from one year to the next.
You will receive your COLA in the same month each year. In general, it will be on the anniversary date of your retirement, with the following exceptions:
- If you converted from MSEP to MSEP 2000 during the conversion window in 2000, we will apply your COLA each July.
- If you elected a BackDROP, we will apply your COLA each year on the anniversary of your BackDROP date.
COLA exceptions for legislators, statewide elected officials, 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 increase in pay for an active member of the general assembly. No other COLAs will be provided.
If you are a retired statewide elected official who took office after July 1, 2000, your benefit will be adjusted according to the increase in pay for an active member in that office. No other COLAS will be provided.
If you retired under MSEP, and were employed 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 Consumer Price Index.