Helping Idaho Public Employees Build A Secure Retirement

PERSI Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA)

PERSI applies a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) to retirement benefits effective March 1 each year. The COLA helps keep retirement payments equal with inflation, thus helping PERSI retirees maintain 100% purchasing power.

How Determined

The COLA is tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) for the 12 months ending August of the current year, and may not exceed the CPI or 6%, whichever is less. The COLA is also tied to the growth in the retirement fund's actuarial assets. The Retirement Board cannot declare a COLA unless the fund's actuarial assets exceed its actuarial liabilities, including the cost of the adjustment. The COLA is subject to amendment or rejection by the Legislature.

How Applied

The COLA is applied as a percentage increase to a retiree's monthly benefit starting March 1. For example, if a retiree's benefit is $1000/month in February and the COLA is 6%, starting March 1, the retiree's benefit increases to $1060/month.

Proration

For retirees in the first year of retirement, the COLA (and retro COLA, if applicable) is applied as a percentage of the full COLA depending on the percentage of the year that the retirement was in effect. For example, if the member's last date of contribution (DLC) was August 1, and the member retired on September 1, the member was retired for 50% of the year, and the retiree would receive 50% of the value of the COLA—3% of a 6% COLA.

COLA History

Date COLA Notes

3/1/14

1.0%

Approved at the 12/03/2013 meeting of the Retirement Board.

3/1/13

1.0%

Approved at the 12/04/2012 meeting of the Retirement Board.

3/1/12

1.0%

Approved at the 12/06/2011 meeting of the Retirement Board.

3/1/11

1.0%

Approved at the 12/07/2010 meeting of the Retirement Board.

3/1/10

2.48%

Approved at the 12/09/2009 meeting of the Retirement Board a retro COLA of 2.48%. This provided an offset of the -1.48% to result in a net 1% COLA.

3/1/10

-1.48%

Approved at the 12/09/2009 meeting of the Retirement Board. Based on the 1.48% decrease in the CPI for the 12 month period ending August 2009.

3/1/09

1.0%

COLA was approved at the December 16, 2008 meeting of the Retirement Board.

3/1/08

2.0%

Approved at the 10/23/2007 meeting of the Retirement Board.  This matches the increase of the CPI for the 12-month period ending August 2007.

3/1/07

3.8%

Approved at the 10/31/2006 meeting of the Retirement Board.  This matches the 3.8% increase of the CPI for the 12-month period ending August 2006.

3/1/06

3.6%

Approved at the 10/25/2005 meeting of the Retirement Board. This matches the 3.6% increase of the CPI for the 12-months ending August 2005.

3/1/05

0.8%

Retro COLA that applies only to those whose last contribution date (DLC) was before 03/01/2003, and prorated for those whose DLC was within the 12 months prior to 03/01/2003. Approved at the 10/26/2004 meeting of the Retirement Board, and returns all PERSI retirees to 100% buying power.

3/1/05

2.7%

Approved at the 10/26/2004 meeting of the Retirement Board. This matches the 2.7% increase of the CPI for the 12-months ending August 2004.

3/1/04

2.2%

Approved at the 11/18/2003 meeting of the Retirement Board. This matches the 2.2% increase in the CPI. 

3/1/03

1.0%

This is the minimum COLA.

3/1/02

2.7%

3/1/01

3.4%

3/1/00

2.3%

3/1/99

1.6%

Added a retro COLA to bring all retirees whose DLC was on or before January 31, 1989 to 100% CPI purchasing power.

3/1/98

2.2%

3/1/97

2.9%

3/1/96

2.6%

3/1/95

2.9%

3/1/94

2.8%

Added a retro COLA to bring all retirees whose DLC was on or before December 31, 1981 to a minimum of 90% CPI purchasing power.

3/1/93

3.1%

Added a retro COLA to bring all retirees whose DLC was in 1979 or before up to a minimum of 80% CPI.

3/1/92

3.8%

Added a retro COLA to bring all retirees whose DLC was in 1974 or before up to a minimum of 70% CPI purchasing power.

3/1/91

5.6%

3/1/90

4.7%

3/1/89

1.0%

3/1/88

1.0%

3/1/87

1.5%

1/1/86

1.0%

1/1/85

4.2%

1/1/84

2.9%

1/1/83

5.1%

1/1/82

6.0%

1/1/81

6.0%

1/1/80

6.0%

1/1/79

6.0%

1/1/78

6.0%

1/1/77

6.0%

if last contributed prior to 1/1/1976

1/1/77

1.053%

if last contributed during 1976

1/1/76

3.0%

1/1/75

3.0%

1/1/74

3.0%

minimum benefit put into effect - no retro COLAs applied prior to this date

1/1/73

3.0%

1/1/72

3.0%

1/1/71

3.0%

1/1/70

3.0%

7/1/69

rates varied according to retirement date

Note! Starting 1/1/1980, if the date of last contribution (DLC) was in the prior year, the COLA is calculated on the number of months that the retiree was retired, not the total year.