COLA Coming in September


Eligible retired members will receive a 1.2% increase in their monthly benefit beginning with the September 2018 payment thanks to New York’s legislated cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). COLAs help dampen the effects of inflation for retirees.

The 1.2% COLA translates into a maximum monthly increase of $18. Eligible members receiving an annual benefit under $18,000 will receive a lesser monthly increase. By law, the COLA is applied only to the first $18,000 of a benefit.

The 1.2% increase will be effective for the 12-month period beginning in September. When the new COLA begins, the cumulative maximum monthly increase since New York state COLA legislation was enacted in 2001 will be $348, or nearly $4,200 annually.

To be eligible for a COLA, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • At least 62 and retired at least five years; OR,
  • At least 55 and retired at least 10 years; OR,
  • A retiree receiving a NYSTRS disability benefit for at least five years (regardless of age); OR,
  • A surviving spouse of an eligible retiree receiving a lifetime benefit. (By law, the spouse receives an increase equal to one-half the COLA the retiree would have received.)

Retirees who become eligible for the COLA after September will receive their adjustment when first eligible.

For more information, see the Retirees > Cost-of-Living Adjustment page.

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