Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Coming in September

Eligible NYSLRS retirees will see a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase in their monthly pension payments beginning in late September 2022. This is a permanent annual increase to your retirement benefit that is based on the cost-of-living index and a formula set by State law.

For payment dates, check our pension payment calendar.

COLA coming soon

How the Cost-of-Living Adjustment is Determined

COLA increases are based on the rate of inflation, as reflected in the consumer price index published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The law requires that COLA payments be calculated based on 50 percent of the annual rate of inflation, measured at the end of the State fiscal year (March 31). The increase cannot be less than 1 percent or greater than 3 percent.

The COLA is applied to the first $18,000 of your benefit calculated as a Single Life Allowance, even if you selected a different pension payment option. Once your COLA payments begin, you will automatically receive an increase to your monthly benefit each September.

The September 2022 COLA equals 3 percent, for a maximum annual increase of $540.00, or $45.00 per month before taxes.

COLA eligibility

When Will You See the Increase?

Eligible retirees will see the first 2022 COLA in their end-of-September pension payment. It will be available to those with direct deposit on September 30, 2022. If you receive a paper check, it will be included in the check mailed on September 29, 2022.

You can sign in to your Retirement Online account to view a current breakdown of your pension payment. If you have direct deposit and are eligible for the increase, you will receive notification of the net change in your monthly payment amount in September.

If you are not eligible for a COLA yet, you will receive your first increase in the month after you become eligible. This payment will include a prorated amount to cover the month you became eligible. After that, you will receive a COLA increase each September.

30 thoughts on “Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Coming in September

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Eligible retirees will see the 2022 COLA in their end-of-September pension payment. It will be available to those with direct deposit on September 30. If you receive a paper check, it will be included in the check mailed on September 29.

      Retirees who receive their pension through direct deposit will also receive a notification of the net change in your monthly pension amount at the end of September if you are eligible to receive this COLA increase.

      Reply
  1. John Darcy

    I retired at age 55…a dismal pay…my choice lol
    My question, I’ll be 62 this October…will i get this valuable
    COLA in October or have to wait till next September?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      You will receive your first COLA increase in the month following the month you become eligible. Your first payment will include a partial payment for the month in which you became eligible, plus the COLA for the month you receive the payment.

      For account-specific questions, including questions about your COLA eligibility date, please contact our customer service representatives using our secure email form. Filling out the secure form allows them to safely contact you about your personal account information.

      Reply
  2. Richard alsante

    Contact your / our union reps and tell them what needs to be done apparently they have no clue that members have been getting shorted for decades

    Reply
  3. Jason Krebs

    I’ve looked into COLA adjustments of other state pensions and 1/2 of the inflation rate on the first 18k is pathetic. COLA should be based on your entire amount.

    Reply
  4. Ruby Stephens

    We need more money to live there is enough money in our system to pay us an good increase. Everything is so expensive

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Retirement benefits, including COLA, are established by law. The decision on whether to enact new laws comes from the State Legislature and the Governor. The State Legislature would need to pass a bill and the Governor would need to sign it into law in order to change the COLA eligibility rules.

      Reply
      1. Mary Katherine

        The NYS Comptroller could certainly push for such legislation. With inflation well over 10% for the expenses seniors have, COLAs of 1-3% only on the first $18,000 of pension is a sign of how little regard the elected leaders of the state have for retirees. Please, Mr. DiNapoli, get the ball rolling on correcting this.

        Reply
  5. Robert W Perez

    The COLA was created was 22 years ago. Past time to address the negative economic impact of inflation has had on retirees. Many struggle to put food on the table. They have lost the dignity and reasonable security any human deserves. Unions, RPEA, other organizations and elected need to agree on a solution.
    PEF has a very reasonable and modest COLA bill worthy of consideration. It increases the $18K base each year based on cost of living but not above 3% or below 1%.

    Reply
  6. Sheila M Williams

    Cost of living increases for every retiree, but if you’re not in the system for five years no increase benefit. Please keep the news and send the check when I am eligible rather than posting it as good news, no it’s not good news for all.

    Reply
    1. Deborah A Rolleri

      Exactly 5 years retired 60 yrs old and no cost of living increase. With todays cost of living its impossible to live on retirement check alone. Have to work more to struggle to survive.

      Reply
  7. Kerri hughes

    Our unions need to step up and get this modified – The numbers are archaic do not represent what a true COLA should be!

    Reply
    1. Gary Peterford

      We are in the richest retirement system here. No reason to take care of the retiree better with a raise that suits the economy. This COLA % is peanuts what we are getting year after year.

      Reply
  8. Elio Giuliani

    Thank you, NYS LRS, for explaining the NYS law with the clear chart above that defines who will be receiving this increase.
    I suggest that those who think it is too small and too limited should find out who their NY state representatives are and contact them to make the COLA better per their individual desires.
    If they moved out of NYS they can still contact the representatives who they had in the former NYS district before they moved away.

    Reply
    1. Mary Katherine

      While the explanation is accurate, there is no reason that the State Comptroller himself cannot push the Governor and Legislature to enact legislation to correct this unfair situation. He is the person charged with safeguarding our funds, and I would like to see him add his voice. I will certainly do my part in contacting the Governor and Legislators.

      Reply
  9. Claire Horst

    It’s pretty sad isn’t it? Those of us who retired less than 5 years ago get a big, fat 0! We have to keep up with the cost of living too! Might have to get back out to work to keep up. Started working just before I turned 14 and retired at 67. Crazy, isn’t it?

    Reply
    1. Shari Gerber

      I am still waiting for my letter telling me that my unused sick time was applied to my retirement benefit. I have my letter saying that it would take 6 months but more than 2 years later and many phone calls nothing from them.

      Reply
      1. Claire Horst

        Shari, I didn’t know about the sick time. My job was cut to PT so I ended up retiring. I had 73 unused sick days so I donated half (all that was allowed) to our sick bank. I wouldn’t mind getting credit for that! I have to look into in!

        Reply
        1. NYSLRS Post author

          For account-specific information about your NYSLRS benefits, please email our customer service representatives using our secure email form. Filling out the secure form allows them to safely contact you about your personal account information.

          Reply
      2. Kevin kresgr

        My Sick Leave Credit is also in that ….. holding state, ive sent the retirement system emails and have called several times. The agreement was that if you retire with sick.leave credit it would go towards your years of service along with subsidizing your health insurance. I have yet to receive any additional years of service credit or any notice to what is holding this up. 3/4 or .78 years is what I am supposed to be credited for.

        Reply
  10. Claire Horst

    Please explain why one has to be retired five + years? Just curious. With this economy it would be nice to receive a bit more. Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      Retirement benefits, including COLA, are established by law. The decision on whether to enact new laws comes from the State Legislature and the Governor. The State Legislature would need to pass a bill and the Governor would need to sign it into law in order to change the COLA eligibility rules.

      Reply
  11. Mary Debenedetto

    I can not believe that not everyone who is retired no matter how long you have been retired is not getting the raise. Increase in cost of living is happening to all of us retired. Shame the state doesn’t see this. I have only been retired for 11 months so I will not be getting this increase.

    Reply
  12. Frederick Bush

    COLA in our retirement system is a travesty. It’s 3 percent on $18000. After all is said and done, the $45 monthly increase becomes $20. And they call that a COLA. WHY IS THE STATE INVOLVED IN REGULATING OUR COLA? DO THEY HAVE THEIR HANDS IN THE POT? $ 20 is half a tank of gas or the cost of lunch. We need a real COLA. something similar to what Social Security offers. Why is there a $18000 ceiling on COLA awards? If I earn $78000 per year, I get the same COLA as someone who earns $30000 per year. How is that fair? We must change the law. The fund is sitting on billions of dollars that’s increasing exponentially. They need to release more to fairly in crease the real cost of living. Is there a secret fund that our retirement system is funding? Who knows and it appears no one is motivated to find out.

    Reply
  13. N Hinkley

    I retired in December 2019, right before everything fell apart. By the time my COLA eligibility finally kicks in, my standard of living will be deteriorated irrevocably.

    Reply

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