A Cost of Living Adjustment is provided by SFERS to help post-retirement income keep pace with inflation (the cost of living in the local area). Retired members may receive up to two COLAs from SFERS each year: a Basic and Supplemental COLA.
Retired members may receive an automatic adjustment to their monthly retirement benefit each year. Select the appropriate link for details about Basic COLA provisions under the Safety Old Plans or Safety New Plans.
Supplemental COLAs may be paid in addition to Basic COLAs following years when the Retirement Fund realizes sufficient excess investment earnings to pay for the Supplemental COLA. The Supplemental COLA, when paid, is payable effective July 1st and can be paid in increments of 0.5%. When combined with the Basic COLA, the Supplemental COLA can increase the monthly retirement benefit up to a maximum of 3.5% over the previous June 30th gross retirement allowance. In any year when supplemental COLAs are not paid, members continue to receive the supplemental COLAs that have been paid in all previous years.
When paid, the Supplemental COLA is paid in the check dated February 28th (or 29th) in the year following the July 1st effective date. For retired members who are eligible to receive the Supplemental COLA, the February check will include seven months of retroactive Supplemental COLA pay (July through January), plus the regular February allowance which includes the Supplemental COLA increase. The check dated March 31st will be the correct monthly allowance which includes any Basic and Supplemental COLAS that were effective July 1st of the prior year.
In years when a Supplemental COLA is paid, if the Basic COLA increase equals or exceeds the 3.5% maximum COLA provision, the member will receive only the Basic COLA increase for that year.