OPERS announces COLA amount for 2023

All eligible retirees will receive a 3% cost-of-living adjustment

By Michael Pramik, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

July 29, 2022 – Cost-of-living adjustments for OPERS members in 2023 will be 3 percent for all those eligible to receive the annual benefit increase.

The OPERS COLA is based on a retiree’s initial pension benefit. COLAs will be paid next year to those with a retirement effective date of Dec. 1, 2022, or earlier. COLAs are paid on the anniversary of a retiree’s effective date.

While members with a retirement effective date prior to Jan. 7, 2013, automatically receive a 3 percent adjustment, those with a retirement effective date on or after that date have their COLAs based on the Consumer Price Index-W, the government’s inflation index for urban wage earners and clerical workers.

According to state law, the annual COLA for those retirees is to be based on the change in the CPI-W index from the end of June 2021 to the end of June this year, with a maximum adjustment of 3 percent. With inflation exceeding 3 percent during that period, according to recently released statistics, OPERS’ CPI-based COLA next year will be 3 percent.

OPERS’ inflation-based COLA uses the same index as Social Security. But the time period measured is different, so the adjustments might not always match up.

Michael Pramik

Michael Pramik is communication strategist for the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and editor of the PERSpective blog. As an experienced business journalist, he clarifies complex pension policies and helps members make smart choices to secure their retirement.

Michael Pramik

Communication Strategist

35 thoughts on “OPERS announces COLA amount for 2023

  • July 29, 2022 at 10:47 am
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    Thank you Opers !! You truly work for your retirees.

    Reply
    • August 10, 2022 at 12:18 pm
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      Will opers change to the same cpi that SS is changing to to calculate colas going forward? Thank you

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      • August 23, 2022 at 11:17 am
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        Jim,

        There have been calls over the years for Social Security to change its methodology in determining its COLA. We have not seen any proposal that has gained enough support to move Social Security away from its use of the CPI-W. If it does at some point in the future, there is no obligation for OPERS to change the way we set the inflation-based COLA.

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    • October 10, 2022 at 5:46 pm
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      Social Security is giving an
      8.7% increase in 2023. Why isn’t OPERS doing the same?

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      • October 11, 2022 at 8:50 am
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        Barbara,

        Ohio law caps at 3 percent the amount of inflation-based COLA we can provide.

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        • November 14, 2022 at 9:46 am
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          Mary,

          The Social Security COLA will be 8.7 percent for 2023.

          Reply
        • December 1, 2022 at 11:38 am
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          Rebecca if you read the information OPERS provides you will see our CPI is capped at 3% annually. OPERS does a fantastic job of managing our pension and hopefully you can do some research to understand OPERS continued fiscal responsibility. This fund needs to last your entire lifetime. If you look at what your total amount paid into the pension vs. what you have received you will notice you are getting far more than you ever invested. I think it is also important to note, how many times in your career did you ever receive a raise over 3%? I know in my position at Ohio State most of my raises were less than 3% on average.

          Reply
  • July 29, 2022 at 12:02 pm
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    So you no longer have to wait a year before you receive COLA?

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    • July 29, 2022 at 1:51 pm
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      Jefferson,

      As stated in the blog, COLAs are paid on the anniversary of a retiree’s effective date of retirement. Thus, a new retiree would receive the first COLA one year after retiring.

      Reply
    • July 29, 2022 at 3:31 pm
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      Many STRS retirees receive no COLA. That puts them far behind in earning power.

      Reply
  • July 29, 2022 at 3:33 pm
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    It looks like 3% for all for quite a bit of time…..at 10% inflation it is over 3X that rate…looks like the lower of CPI-W or 3% won’t have the impact hopes for by OPERS which was to reduce COLAs of later retirees….what will be next, eliminating COLA? Also, ending spouses health benefits seems to just make employees work longer as need to wait for spouse to be Medicare eligible… what impact does that have?

    Reply
  • July 29, 2022 at 4:41 pm
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    We appreciate these OPERS updates!

    Reply
  • July 29, 2022 at 4:55 pm
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    What about pension received as a beneficiary of a spouse who died? Will there b a 3% cola added to that retirement?

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    • August 2, 2022 at 3:34 pm
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      Yes, the beneficiary receiving a monthly survivor benefit will be eligible for a COLA increase each year.

      Reply
  • July 29, 2022 at 8:01 pm
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    Shouldn’t you also state that the COLA is not “rolled in” to your retirement wages but is instead based solely on your retirement wage at the time of your retirement thus making the COLA significantly less than 3% for anyone retired for 10 years or more.

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    • August 2, 2022 at 7:36 am
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      John,

      It’s correct that the adjustment is a simple COLA and not a compound COLA, meaning it’s based on your initial retirement amount.

      Reply
  • July 30, 2022 at 10:00 am
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    Thank you OPERS for the COLA. Much appreciated.

    Reply
  • July 30, 2022 at 5:06 pm
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    I retired in December 2014, what is my percentage for COLA?

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    • August 2, 2022 at 7:35 am
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      Rene,

      The COLA for all eligible retirees will be 3 percent next year.

      Reply
  • July 31, 2022 at 1:08 pm
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    Thank You OPERS for the COLA increase.

    Reply
  • August 4, 2022 at 9:52 am
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    Is there a COLA for those retiring after 12/1/22?

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    • August 10, 2022 at 8:18 am
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      April,

      Our current benefit plan provides an annual cost-of-living adjustment to retirees beginning one year after their effective date of retirement.

      Reply
      • September 30, 2022 at 12:52 am
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        So question Michael. Does that mean a person who retires December 1, 2022 will not receive their COLA until December 1, 2023? And will it be Retroactive to January 1, 2023 or only apply moving forward>

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        • October 3, 2022 at 1:04 pm
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          Linda,

          Someone who retires Dec. 1 receives the first COLA the following Dec. 1. It can’t be retroactive — it’s an annual increase beginning on the effective retirement date. A retiree can’t receive the first annual increase until a year passes.

          Reply
  • August 4, 2022 at 11:49 am
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    Nothing but positive thoughts for OPERS! The HRA is also a wonderful incentive. Retired last year after 31 years of public service & don’t regret a day. Thank you!!!!

    Reply
  • August 28, 2022 at 11:06 pm
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    Good news. It will help as we are all trying to keep our heads above water during these inflationary times. Thank you.

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  • September 1, 2022 at 5:55 pm
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    Thanks Opers, for our cola.

    Reply
  • September 9, 2022 at 6:01 pm
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    I think you may have answered my question already but want to be sure. My wife is in group b with over 31 years of eligible service. I’ve seen in the past that there is a one year waiting period for cola increases. If she retires before the deadline will she get the cola increase?

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    • September 12, 2022 at 9:17 am
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      Steve,

      There is no deadline for the one-year waiting period for COLAs. It’s an annual adjustment, so the first one is available on the first anniversary of the retirement effective date.

      Reply
  • September 15, 2022 at 1:06 pm
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    Is there any benefit to retiring 11/30/22 as opposed to 12/31/22 with respect to COLA?

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    • September 21, 2022 at 2:26 pm
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      Jamie,

      Those who end their employment on Nov. 30, 2022, have Dec. 1, 2022, as their effective date of retirement (the first of the month after their last day of work). That means their initial COLA would begin Dec. 1, 2023. The same concept applies to someone retiring on Dec. 31, 2022. The effective date of retirement would be Jan. 1, 2023, and the initial COLA would begin Jan. 1, 2024. There is only one month’s difference between the date of the initial COLA, just as there is one month’s difference in the retirement date.

      Because someone retiring in 2022 would have their COLA amount tied to inflation, there could be a different amount of adjustment in 2024 as there will be in 2023. We’ve already announced that the 2023 COLA will be 3.0 percent. Would the current inflation-based COLA be 3.0 percent in 2024 as well? Yes, unless inflation were to measurably decline in 2023.

      Reply
  • September 18, 2022 at 8:32 pm
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    My 1st Cola I received in 2021 was .5%. but it was 3% in 2022 and 3% in 2023. But because inflation was around 6% last year and 10% this year and .5 in 2020 since we have a cap of 3% unlike social security shouldn’t we have minimum amount of 1.5% or something that we should receive since we have a 3% upper cap. Three year average inflammation during this time was around 5.5% but unfortunately it didn’t go up equally each year so we could get the 3% each year

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  • December 1, 2022 at 11:40 am
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    Thank you all for your continued great work on our behalf. I am still hoping we can get our legislature to revoke the automatic 3% for all those that retired prior to 2013. We need to all work together to ensure the health of OPERS and this is one way to do it. If there is any thing I can ever do to support this measure please let me know. I would happily right to our legislators to revoke the automatic 3%.

    Reply

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