Author: Katelin P. Isaacs, Analyst in Income Security
Congress passed the first law requiring automatic COLAs for federal civil service retirement benefits in 1962, and it has adjusted either the formula by which they are calculated or the date on which they take effect more than a dozen times since then. From the third quarter of 2011 to the third quarter of 2012, the CPI-W increased by 1.7%. Therefore, the CSRS COLA beginning in January 2013 is 1.7%. The January 2013 FERS COLA is also 1.7%.