Contract COLA: 7th COLA is $624
The seventh regular COLA under the 2016-2019 National Agreement is $624 annually following the release of the July 2019 Consumer Price Index.
On August 13, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W, 1967=100) stood at 745.376 in July, 46.796 points above the base index of 698.580 in July 2014.
The seventh COLA is based on the increase in the CPI-W between the base index month and July 2019, less any previously calculated COLAs, and is payable the second full pay period following the release of the July 2019 index. The seven COLAs that have been calculated under the 2016-2019 National Agreement, totaling $1.16 cents per hour, are as follows: 1st COLA, 1 cent per hour ($21 annually), 2nd COLA, 16 cents per hour ($333 annually), 3rd COLA, 13 cents per hour ($270 annually), 4th COLA, 25 cents per hour ($520 annually), 5th COLA, 31 cents per hour ($645 annually), 6th COLA, 0 cents per hour ($0 annually), and the 7th COLA, 30 cents per hour ($624 annually).
2020 Retiree COLAs Projection: 1.6% as of July 2019
The 2020 COLAs for CSRS and FERS benefits are based on the increase in the average CPI-W between the 3rd quarter of 2018 (246.352) and the 3rd quarter of 2019 (TBA).
Based on the July 2019 CPI-W (1982-84=100) of 250.236 the 2020 CSRS and FERS COLAs are currently projected to be 1.6%. The 2020 retiree COLA calculation will be finalized in October 2019 with the release of the CPI-W for September 2019.
CSRS annuities receive full COLAs; COLAs for FERS annuities are payable for retirees 62 and older and may be reduced by up to one percentage point from the increase in the CPI.
2020 FECA COLA projection: 2.2% as of July 2019
Based on the release of the July 2019 CPI-W (1982-84=100), the 2020 FECA COLA projection is 2.2%. The July 2019 CPI-W 250.236 was 2.2% above the December 2018 base index (244.786). The 2020 FECA COLA calculation will be finalized when the December 2019 CPI-W is published during the month of January 2020.
FECA COLAs are applicable only in cases where death or disability occurred more than one year prior to the adjustment’s effective date.