Cost-of-Living Adjustment

Overview

Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)

Pursuant to employee-employer agreements, VCERA pays an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to retirees in certain membership categories. COLAs serve to protect retirement benefits from rising inflation, which can erode pension purchasing power over time. Below are summaries of the COLAs provided by VCERA to eligible members, payable in April of each year.

Safety & General Tier 1 COLA

Safety retirees and General Tier 1 retirees are eligible for an annual COLA, not to exceed 3%. The COLA awarded is based on the year-over-year change (as of December) in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim region. The CPI change is rounded to the nearest half percent. If the rounded CPI is more than the 3% COLA maximum, the excess will be “banked” and applied to a COLA in a future year when the annual CPI change results in an increase of less than 3%.

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) COLA

Retired General members who were represented by SEIU (i.e., Tiers 2 and 8) will receive a flat 2% COLA on their eligible COLA service, as follows:

  • For retirements prior to March 13, 2005, the SEIU COLA is based on service rendered on or after July 7, 2002.
  • For retirements on or after March 13, 2005, the SEIU COLA is based on service rendered on or after March 16, 2003.