COAERS’ governing statute requires the Board of Trustees to annually make a determination regarding a cost of living adjustment (COLA). Each year, the Board obtains a report from its actuary concerning the feasibility of a COLA.
Before the Board can authorize a COLA, the COAERS actuary must first recommend such a COLA to the Board and certify in writing that it is demonstrable that the System has and likely will continue to have the ability to pay such an amount after all other obligations of the System have been paid. By law, an adjustment may be granted only if the actuary recommends it and certifies in writing that the adjustment would likely be sustainable.
Based on the Board’s Funding Policy and the System’s funded status, the criteria are not currently being met to support the consideration of a COLA. For 2022, the actuary could not recommend a cost of living adjustment. Accordingly, the Board and City Council cannot legally authorize an adjustment.
The ongoing loss of purchasing power for retirees continues to be of concern to the Board of Trustees. They have worked diligently to develop a comprehensive funding policy to both set forth the mechanics of measuring the financial health of COAERS and to outline the conditions under which a cost of living adjustment could be considered. Although the point in time at which a cost of living adjustment can be recommended remains uncertain, we are on a path that will eventually achieve that goal.COLA Information.pdf