How will COLA affect feds who aren't retired?

Friday - 10/21/2011, 5:21pm EDT

Tammy Flanagan, senior benefits director, National Institute of Transition Planning

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Federal retirees are getting a 3.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment for the first time in two years.

But how will this affect federal employees who are not yet retired?

Feds "shouldn't care too much if they're still working for the government," said Tammy Flanagan, senior benefits director at the National Institute of Transition Planning, in an interview with In Depth with Francis Rose.

If someone is retiring in 2011, they will get a prorated COLA based on how many months they have been retired. If you retire this November, you will only get 1/12 of the COLA, Flanagan said.

And if you retire on Dec. 31, 2011, you won't get any COLA, she said.

Other facts to take note of:

  • CSRS retirees will receive the full COLA amount, but FERS retirees will receive a 2.6 percent COLA — 1 percent less than general Social Security recipients.
  • FERS retirees who have not reached age 62 will not have their COLA applied to their annuity. They will, however, still see the COLA in their social security.
  • A "downer" for social security recipients is that Medicare premiums have stayed the same since 2008, but with the COLA, the premium will increase from $96.40 a month to $115.40 a month.

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