Understanding the COLA on your August benefit statement

The Governor signed the FY2023 budget into law on July 28th. The budget includes a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) effective July 1, 2022, which provides an increase of 5% on the first $13,000 of your retirement benefit, for a maximum increase of $650 per year or $54.17 per month (5% x $13,000/year = $650/year; $650/year ÷ 12 months = $54.17/month).

The FY2023 COLA was approved after our administrative cut-off date for the July benefit payments, so this month’s payment includes the COLA for BOTH July and August. The July COLA amount is included as a one-time retroactive increase in the BASE line, and only the August COLA is listed in the COLA line. Note: a one-time 10% tax withholding amount was applied to the retroactive July COLA amount. Your September payment will reflect your new monthly benefit amount, including any applicable federal tax withholding.

The chart below shows how the payments will be listed on your August paystub:

As a reminder, retirement and survivor benefits are paid for time already accrued; the allowance you receive at the end of August is the payment for August.

You are eligible to receive this COLA if you are:

  • a retiree who retired on or before June 30, 2021;
  • a survivor of an Option C retiree who retired on or before June 30, 2021;
  • a survivor of a member who died while in active service on or before June 30, 2021; or,
  • an accidental death benefit recipient whose benefit began on or before June 30, 2021.

Questions? See your benefit payment, how to read your check or direct deposit statement or email GenInfo@trb.state.ma.us.