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No 2016 Federal Retiree COLA: CSRS and FERS
Under current law, there will be no 2016 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security recipients and annuitants in both the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).
The Social Security Act provides for an automatic COLA increase if there is an increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) from the third quarter of the last year a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) was determined to the third quarter of the current year. Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirmed that the September 2015 CPI-W was (232.661). Combined with the CPI-W for July (233.806) and August (233.366), the 2015 third-quarter average is 233.278, or 0.41 percent lower than the average CPI-W for the third quarter of 2014, which was 234.242.
In the years 2010 and 2011, there was also no federal retiree COLA. These two no COLA years were followed by a 3.6 percent COLA in 2012, 1.7 percent COLA in 2013, a 1.5 percent COLA in 2014, and 1.7 percent COLA in 2015. Social Security trustees project a 3.1 percent 2017 COLA.
For more information, see also: Guide to Federal Retiree COLAs: What Are They and How Are They Calculated?