A Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) is an increase to the pension benefit of a retiree or beneficiary (annuitant) that is meant to assist with rising inflation costs. Most pension plans in Washington State administered by the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) provide a COLA. However, the timing, amount, and eligibility for these COLAs varies from plan to plan.
This webpage is intended to provide readers with some education and context on COLAs, as it relates to the actuarial work the Office of the State Actuary (OSA) provides. Such topics include the funding of plan COLAs, summaries of participants receiving COLAs, and recent policy analysis OSA has conducted on this topic. This webpage is divided into the following sections, which readers can click further below to expand/collapse…
- COLAs Available to DRS Members
- The Latest COLA Numbers
- COLA Policy History
- The Funding of COLAs
- Recent OSA Policy Analysis
There are a few different COLAs available to DRS members, which fall into two main categories – the Base COLAs and the Plans 1 COLAs (for Plan 1 members of PERS and TRS). These different COLAs are further explained in the “COLAs Available to DRS Members” expandable section below.
Please note that this webpage is not meant to cover the administration or calculation of individual member’s COLAs. These tasks are the responsibility of the plan administrator, DRS, and any questions regarding these topics should be directed to them. Please refer to the
DRS COLA FAQ webpage for additional information, including how to contact them.
Unless otherwise noted, the figures below are as of the
June 30, 2021, Actuarial Valuation Report (AVR). We intend to update these figures every other year.