The Cost of Living Adjustments is an increase made to your retirement allowance every April 1. Each year, the change from December to December in the San Francisco Bay Area’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) is rounded to the nearest half percent and becomes the COLA amount.
Annual COLA Date
Maximum Annual COLA
|Tier 1 and Tier 3||3%|
|Tier 2 and Tier 4||2%|
2019–2020 CPI Change
2021 COLA Increase
|Tier 1 and Tier 3||Retired on or before 04/01/19||3.0%|
|Tier 1 and Tier 3||Retired 04/02/19 – 04/01/21||2.0%|
|Tier 2 and Tier 4||Retired on or before 04/01/21||2.0%|
COLA Reflected In Retirement Payment
April 30, 2021
More COLA Info
COLA Maximums and the COLA Bank
The maximum statutory annual COLA increase is 3% for Tier 1 and 3 members and 2% for Tier 2 and 4 members. In years where the CPI increase is greater than these percentages, the difference between your maximum and the rounded CPI increase is automatically banked for future years. The banked percentage is used in years when the COLA is less than the maximum.
If your first day of retirement is April 1 or before, you will get the COLA for that year. If your first day of retirement is April 2 or after, you’ll have to wait for next year’s COLA.
Long-Time Retirees and the Supplemental COLA
Many long-time retirees will be eligible for an additional non-vested Supplemental COLA.
What is the Consumer Price Index (CPI)?
The CPI is a measure of price inflation. Specifically, it is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services such as food, housing, apparel, transportation, medical care, and education. The CPI is measured by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which produces CPI figures for the U.S as a whole and for major urban areas such as the San Francisco Bay Area. ACERA bases its COLA on the change in CPI for the Bay Area from December to December.