Retirees Association

OPERS Board approved capping the cost of living allowance at 2.25%

Submitted by Peggy Bott, WSURA board member.

The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) Board has approved the following changes to the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for retirees:

  • Beginning in 2019 all future COLAS will be based on the CPI, capped at 2.25 percent.
  • The new formula will be delayed two years for members who retired from 2010-2012.
  • Future retirees will not receive a COLA until their second pension anniversary.
  • OPERS will provide a one-time pension adjustment to restore 85 percent purchasing power to those retirees whose purchasing power is less than 85 percent.
  • Should OPERS’ required time to pay off unfunded liabilities top 30 years, the COLA will frozen for the next calendar year.

OPERS has $100.2 billion in pension liabilities and $80.3 billion in assets. These unfunded liabilities are the given reason for the changes, along with the fact the folks are living longer. The average age of retirement is 57, so many retirees will live longer in retirement than years worked.

Any changes to the COLA require approval by the Ohio General Assembly.