OPERS announces COLA for 2024

Inflation-based adjustment to be 2.3%, based on government statistics

By Michael Pramik, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

July 20, 2023 – Cost-of-living adjustments for OPERS members in 2024 will be either 3 percent or 2.3 percent, depending on when members began receiving a benefit.

Those with a benefit effective date prior to Jan. 7, 2013, automatically receive a 3 percent adjustment. Those with an effective date 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 from the end of June 2022 to the end of June this year, with a maximum adjustment of 3 percent. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the CPI-W increased 2.3 percent over that period, so OPERS’ CPI-based COLA for 2024 will be 2.3 percent. For reference, click on “CPI-W, June 2023” on this page of the Bureau of Labor Statistics website and refer to cell AD-7 in the spreadsheet.

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.

The adjustment is calculated on the benefit recipient’s original monthly benefit and is paid on the anniversary of their benefit effective date. COLAs will be paid next year to those with a benefit effective date of Dec. 1, 2023, or earlier.

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

161 thoughts on “OPERS announces COLA for 2024

  • July 20, 2023 at 9:31 am
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    We have been receiving 3% COLA for several years now. Actual inflation has been much higher. How are we supposed to live when the inflation rate is higher than our COLA. Retirees are going further further in the hole and the outlook is very poor. 3% just isn’t enough!!!!

    Reply
    • July 26, 2023 at 10:39 pm
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      You are right. And to make matters worse we are getting that 3 % based on our very first monthly check when we first retired. It is not based on the past year’s payment. Unlike Social Security. So we are even further behind.

      Reply
      • July 27, 2023 at 5:56 am
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        Jamie,

        Social Security is forecasted to run out of money in 10 years, partly because of decisions like the one you mentioned. If that were to happen, benefits would be drastically cut (not “tweaked”). Further, the National Association of State Retirement Administrators says one-fourth of public pensions pay no COLAs at all.

        Reply
        • August 24, 2023 at 1:59 pm
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          My spouse retired in 2019 with STRS and has received no COLA raises since then. She has seen a major reduction in purchasing power in 4 years. I would love a 3% COLA in 2024 but I don’t want to see OPERS make big cuts or raise costs since I plan on being around 15 more years.

          Reply
          • August 24, 2023 at 5:40 pm
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            Social Security cuts the amount I receive because I retired under PERS NOT FAIR Because of a stupid state law I payed into SS just like all of us…….

          • August 28, 2023 at 8:45 am
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            Morrie,

            The Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset are federal rules through the Social Security Administration. They are not state laws. For decades, OPERS has been advocating to government officials to come up with better provisions for our retirees.

          • August 28, 2023 at 6:13 pm
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            Is the Wind fall Act the reason I am not entitled to about $6,000 I paid into SS. I know I don’t have enough Units to receive a check, but what happened to the $6,000 I paid in prior to my years with the country government?

          • August 31, 2023 at 4:21 pm
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            Eddie Jean,

            If you have specific questions about your Social Security account, contact the Social Security Administration.

        • August 24, 2023 at 2:05 pm
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          Social Secuirty has nothing to do with our pension. If you paid into OPERS like I did for 30 years, you do not get squat from SS. And from what SSA told me, you are only entitled to half of what we paid into. What I receive is only quarter of what I am entitled to! I paid into SS for 12 years before joining OPERS. I have a decent pension, thanks to all the overtimne I worked, but with inflation rate as it is, it is not keeping up. I fall into the category of getting 3% every year, I have been retired now 13 years. I worked part time until 5 years ago, now I am thinking of returning back again just to keep up with everything going up.

          Reply
          • August 24, 2023 at 4:36 pm
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            Michael,

            Thanks. We brought up the solvency of Social Security because a commenter asked why we didn’t set up our COLA in exactly the same manner as Social Security. Our goal is to make sure our system will be there for all our members — those retired and those still working.

          • August 24, 2023 at 10:58 pm
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            The CPI-W is made up by the feds to always make inflation looks smaller. Anyone with common sense knows the inflation rate is alot higher. Go to a restaurant or grocery store of buy a car or any other consumer products. Most everything we have purchased has at least doubled since pre pandemic. They are full of bull why would they want to give you more money what the heck they have a war to finance.

          • August 25, 2023 at 12:14 pm
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            How would you feel if the COLAs were raised and then ran out of money? They are doing a balancing act to keep our COLAs continuing. Kudos to them. With that in mind, make adjustments, sell your house and move into a smaller home, don’t eat out , shop smart, if you have investments, change them to monthly dividend investments. My house ins went up $6000 last year and just got notice my property tax is going up $1000. I’m moving to a much more tax friendly state and buying a smaller home.

          • August 26, 2023 at 8:21 am
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            I have the same situation with SSA and PERS. I also received 1/4 of my SSA because of my PERS income. I don’t consider any of this fair.

        • August 24, 2023 at 5:10 pm
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          Social Security is running out of money because it is rolled into the general fund. It is a slush fund for the government.

          Reply
          • September 3, 2023 at 4:10 pm
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            You’ve got that right Robert and the pension funds in some other states are in big time trouble because they are setup like social security and the state governments in those states rob their pension funds just like the DC bureaucrats have done to social security for years. Thankfully Ohio’s retirement systems are setup differently and the state legislatures cannot touch our retirement funds.

        • August 25, 2023 at 6:11 am
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          Very rarely do you hear anyone in Congress mention Social Security….because this is a “nail in the coffin” topic. They have kicked the can down the road for too long and this must be addressed. Otherwise, the catastrophic consequences will affect every one of us regardless of where we draw our pension. In other words, “collateral damage”. I hear many people discuss their Social Security pension (including my own siblings) and I have no doubt in my mind that OPERS is more stable. Just remember, many pension systems don’t offer COLA.

          Reply
        • August 25, 2023 at 9:34 am
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          Michael,

          Social Security will not be allowed to fail as the politicians depend on the votes of those receiving benefits. If necessary the government will print money which will cause additional inflation, or simply rob it from a different budget just as they spent the contributions that were in the plan in the past. The only comparision between these plans is that they both are provided to retirees.

          Now please explain how increasing the PERS benefit by less than 3% is reasonable when the inflation rate is significantly higher

          Reply
          • August 28, 2023 at 9:07 am
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            John,

            The COLA is meant to mitigate the effects of inflation, not to completely offset inflation’s effects. Also, we should note that for years OPERS paid a 3 percent COLA when the annual change in inflation was significantly less than 3 percent.

        • August 25, 2023 at 3:32 pm
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          Nothing could be further from the truth. The reason Social Security is running short of money is because the system is being robbed to pay for people and causes that do not pay into the system.

          Reply
        • October 21, 2023 at 8:07 pm
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          The Federal Government has been out of money for years, and just keeps increasing the debt. Don’t be fooled by the concept of the Social Security Trust Fund running out of money. The Federal Government can just keep paying us and go further in debt. As a retired Ohio State employee and Federal Government employee who worked in D.C. in a relatively high level job (and who worked on the Hill), I can further tell you that the Social Security Trust Fund has been out of money for several years now. The money only exists on paper, as Congress and the Administration robbed this Account years ago to pay for other programs and initiatives. It’s just a paper push and an illusion. Concerning Trust Funds in the Federal Government, I administered one. Most of those Trust Funds have been robbed as well or are greatly supported with additional general revenue funds if they’re deemed important enough, like the Highway Trust Fund. Mine wasn’t deemed important enough, so my Program had to live within our means. Wish the Government did that all the time too.

          Reply
        • October 30, 2023 at 11:34 am
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          Once again I am sorry I ever took a county job for my last 12 yrs before retirement. Not only did social security take 40% because I am drawing a small OPERS pension, I am having to take a smaller cola than some other retirees as well. Fair distribution for hard work seems to be a thing of the past.

          Reply
        • January 29, 2024 at 1:41 pm
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          Mr. Pramik,
          Please clarify this sentence from the COLA 2024 announcement, “The adjustment is calculated on the benefit recipient’s ORIGINAL MONTHLY BENEFIT and is paid on the anniversary of their benefit effective date.” … If the individual has been retired for more than a year & would have already received a COLA increase of 2 or 3% in the past, then any further COLA increases would amount to $0 increase if it is always calculated from their Original Monthly Benefit.

          Appreciate the clarification. Thanks

          Reply
          • January 29, 2024 at 3:40 pm
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            N.,

            The COLA is always calculated on the original benefit. For example, if the original monthly benefit is $1,000, and the following year’s COLA is 3%, the adjustment would be $30 per month. The new benefit becomes $1,030 per month. If in the following year the COLA again is 3%, that adjustment would be 3% of the original benefit — $1,000, not $1,030. The new benefit at that point would be $1,060.

      • August 2, 2023 at 10:22 am
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        I don’t see where our 1st retirement check is mentioned anywhere?

        Reply
        • August 24, 2023 at 1:58 pm
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          From the article: “The adjustment is calculated on the benefit recipient’s original monthly benefit”

          Reply
      • August 7, 2023 at 11:32 am
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        The COLA for Social Security is paid based on the first payment, not on the current payment. OPERS calculates the COLA exactly like the feds do for Social Security. We’re old people, so they rip us off
        every time they can. I don’t really understand how they are holding to 2.3% or 3% COLA, even though the federal Social Security acknowledged a 5.9% increase based on the same data.

        Reply
        • August 7, 2023 at 12:03 pm
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          Tonya,

          Our blog explains how the OPERS COLA is calculated. Social Security’s COLA will be based on the same index but not the same time period. Social Security measures the 12-month change in the CPI-W at the end of September, while OPERS measures it at the end of June. Social Security is expected to announce its 2024 adjustment in early- to mid-October.

          Reply
        • August 24, 2023 at 2:15 pm
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          The 3 percent or up to might not be to bad if we at least were able to collect the social security that we worked for also. As it is we collect very little of that , so little it’s not much more then a car fill-up once a month.

          Reply
          • August 24, 2023 at 5:55 pm
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            The inability to collect our SSA money was done in Congress years ago with the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). SO literally would take an act of Congress to reverse. Hold your breath until the Rich men North of Richmond give any money back to us working class peasants.

          • August 25, 2023 at 6:24 pm
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            AGREE!!!! I could be getting over $2,ooo.oo in Social Security. I worked hard after i retired at 53 with 30 years!! That’s TOTALLY unacceptable!! I earned it!@

          • August 25, 2023 at 10:37 pm
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            John, I agree with you. My social security was dinged about 40% because of the “windfall act”. I worked in the private sector from 1969 to beginning of 1993. From 1993 until I retired in 2016 I worked for my local government. I paid into Social Security for 24 years in the private sector and I was dinged 40% of my social security monthly benefits. I think OPERS is doing a good job considering what they have to work with. My complaint is with the federal government and the Windfall Act that should be abolished.

        • August 24, 2023 at 2:33 pm
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          I do not see where it is relevant that other state pensions do NOT pay cola to their retirees. We were promised a cola and that’s what I feel we deserve. Social security could run out of money because of mismanagement of the program and because it has been severely borrowed against, not because they are fairly paying COLA on their current monthly benefit amount. I was not advised of the cola being based permanently on your first retirement check either. It might have made a difference on whether I took the PLOP or not, as it reduces the monthly benefit amount for future COLA’s. There are many benefits that have been taken from my pension over my 28-year public employee career. Overall, I’m glad I took the plop at retirement, because now I am in control of that money and not someone else.

          Reply
          • August 28, 2023 at 8:27 am
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            Sondra,

            It’s a fact that if OPERS had issued a compound COLA beginning in the early ’70s when we initiated that benefit feature, our funded level would be significantly lower than it is now.

        • August 24, 2023 at 3:22 pm
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          For our retirement system to stay strong, I believe that they are doing the best job possible. Thank you to all are hard working people making very difficult decisions regarding the Opers system.

          Reply
          • August 25, 2023 at 10:55 am
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            I agree!! Thank you to those who are trying to keep our retirement solvent.

        • August 24, 2023 at 4:14 pm
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          You know, I don’t have a problem with the 3% I received 3% for all those years when inflation was under 2% which was not too long ago. There’s nothing magic about it, if you want more money they will have to get it somewhere else like our HRA. They have to keep our retirement solvent. I don’t know too many people that have an HRA. Our benefits are so much better than Social Security and I have always been treated well. Please, that’s just my opinion.

          Reply
          • August 25, 2023 at 10:25 am
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            I agree. We are very fortunate with what we are receiving.

      • August 21, 2023 at 4:42 pm
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        Great point!!!

        Reply
        • August 24, 2023 at 3:05 pm
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          I would like to know OPRS’s budget. What salaries are & the amounts paid to investment firms as well as total investment returns before and after expenses

          I appreciate that OPERS not had the same issues as some other funds but I would like more transparency

          .

          Reply
      • August 24, 2023 at 5:06 pm
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        Jamie,

        I could never figure out how OPERS gets away with basing our yearly increase on our very first monthly check when we first retired. Terrible policy for the retiree.

        Reply
      • August 25, 2023 at 10:21 am
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        I didn’t realize it was based on our first check. I had no idea.

        Reply
      • October 13, 2023 at 3:39 pm
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        And once again Social Security cola for 2024 is 3.2 percent. They told us that we would always get the same as SS up to 3%. Aren’t Opers retirees expenses the same as everyone else’s? Soon SS benefits will be more than Opers😡

        Reply
        • October 18, 2023 at 1:49 pm
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          Jim,

          OPERS didn’t tell retirees who receive the inflation-based COLA they would receive the same COLA as Social Security, up to 3 percent. We said the OPERS inflation-based COLA was based on the same index that Social Security uses. However, it measures the change in inflation over a different time period, thus the discrepancy this year.

          That discrepancy could be higher in favor of OPERS retirees in any one year. In this case, it was not.

          Reply
    • August 24, 2023 at 1:40 pm
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      Our COLA’s should be 3% or more because everytime you go to the Dr. you’re paying an arm and a leg and our premiums keep going up yearly not to mention our deductibles they’re outrageous!

      Reply
    • August 24, 2023 at 2:32 pm
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      I totally agree

      Reply
    • August 24, 2023 at 6:15 pm
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      Agreed. This Washington administration has destroyed retirement accounts with runaway inflation and cost of gas and food. 3% should be the COLA.

      Reply
      • February 23, 2024 at 2:47 pm
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        Inflation/price hiking after the pandemic seems a global thing. We are actually not too bad comparing to other regions like Europe. I am glad our retirement system is running health and we still have no worry about reducing benefits.

        Reply
    • August 24, 2023 at 6:18 pm
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      I agree entirely.
      Elinor Boes

      Reply
    • August 24, 2023 at 6:44 pm
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      The retirees have had a decrease in HRA amount and no COLA increases in the past. We are the older generation. We can’t collect social security even if we worked private sector employment because we have a windfall. Auto,Steel workers dont get punishment for working hard and we often worked two jobs but get penalized on social security but private employees get their pensions and social security.

      Reply
      • September 3, 2023 at 8:29 am
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        We need to get the WEP eliminated, period! It is being addressed with H.R.82 (the social security fairness act of 2023) now. I have contacted my reps in congress asking them to get this passed ASAP & encourage you all to do the same. My OPERS pension is good, not great, due to our local government freezing my wages for 5 years and living in a low paying area to begin with. I also paid into SS for several years and would just like to get my FAIR share of SS. This would help me a lot with my retirement income. I want to thank the powers that be at OPERS for all they do. Maybe OPERS could help us get this bill passed and signed into law.

        Reply
      • November 19, 2023 at 9:25 am
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        Walter,
        It seems that under your scenario, the immediate solution is to go back to work in another country and pay into their retirement program and receive 100% of the benefit. Be sure to choose the appropriate place.

        Reply
    • August 25, 2023 at 2:27 pm
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      With all the inflation on not only food. It on alll utilities. 2.3% is not only not enough but also not fair for those of us who have worked
      30 yrs or more and retire with what feels like. poverty level rates Not fair. We have to decide whether to buy groceries OR pay bills to keep watm. It should be 3% across the board. Cutting back on our HRA is bad enough!

      Reply
    • August 25, 2023 at 2:34 pm
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      We can’t even buy a tank of gas and barely a cheap piece beef it will be years if ever we catch up we didn’t make nearly enough when we work the investments you have made are doing great but the cola you give us don’t reflect the investment money OPERS have been raking in ! Time for OPERS to reflect that !

      Reply
    • August 25, 2023 at 3:27 pm
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      ….and we are very, very lucky that OPERS has let us continue to get a steady 3 percent fixed COLA, regardless of inflation. Count your blessings and thank the OPERS staff for working so hard to let us keep that fixed 3 percent.

      Reply
    • August 25, 2023 at 7:27 pm
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      I Retired in 2006 with 30 years, at the locked in 3% of my final average yearly salary of 2006. My annual increase in my yearly salary is still 3% of my 2006 salary not my current salary (benefit). Currently retirees are receiving NOT LESS than 3% of their CURRENT SALARY (benefit), not locked into their retirement salary (benefit). To be fair wouldn’t it be morally correct to revise this unfair practice? (or just pay me approximately $6000 to keep up with inflation/COLA since 2007). I also had 30 years of qualified payments into Social Security and only receive 20% of the amount I was entitled to due to having a government retirement. At least they pay me an actual COLA each and every year. I wonder how many Congressmen would be reelected if they tried to revise Social Security to match OPERS current plan for COLAs.

      Reply
  • July 20, 2023 at 11:13 am
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    Is this the final 2024 COLA, or could it rise to 3% as indicated by the information I have read regarding the 2024 COLA for Social Security ?

    Reply
    • July 20, 2023 at 1:01 pm
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      David,

      Yes, this is the COLA for 2024, as required by Ohio law.

      Reply
      • August 23, 2023 at 1:22 pm
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        Comparing OPERS pensions to Social Security is ridiculous. No comparison, OPERS is far superior.

        Reply
        • August 24, 2023 at 4:34 pm
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          David Jenkins, I agree with you that the OPERS pension is far superior than Social Security!!!

          Reply
          • August 24, 2023 at 10:20 pm
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            Thank God for my retirement. I would starve if I didn’t have my retirement. I receive barely a car payment per month from SSI. I have a problem with my HRA having to pay heavy healthcare costs before collecting from my account. A 3% raise would be great if possible. Thanks.

  • July 20, 2023 at 2:39 pm
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    Why was June to June picked as the month to determine the cola increase? If it was March to March, cpi increase is 4.3%, April was 4.4%, May was 3.4 % and now June is 2.3%. A fairer means would be to use 1st half to 1st half, average out the months. CPI is 4.3% using the 1st half numbers, meaning all retirees would get a 3% increase.

    With that said, I very much appreciate OPERS!

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • July 21, 2023 at 5:04 pm
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      Chris,

      Those months were selected to give OPERS time to program its systems for the upcoming COLA.

      Reply
    • August 24, 2023 at 2:23 pm
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      In my mind there’s no reason it shouldn’t be calculated from the individual’s retirement month. I mean, the CPI is released every month, so it would be just a matter of adding an entry to a simple spreadsheet.

      Another possibility is to have everyone get their COLA on the same check, and pro-rate the amount for those who haven’t been retired a whole year yet.

      Reply
  • July 24, 2023 at 10:51 am
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    Thank You very much PERS 👍

    Reply
  • August 3, 2023 at 3:17 pm
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    I will be retiring as of May 1st, 2024, Will COLA be adjusted to my payment?

    Reply
    • August 7, 2023 at 12:01 pm
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      Dhaval,

      You will be eligible for a COLA a year after your effective date of retirement.

      Reply
      • August 24, 2023 at 3:09 pm
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        I retired prior to 2013 and have no problem with the 3% COLA and how it is calculated. Comparisons to Social Security are short-sighted. If OPERS operated like SS, our pensions and healthcare benefits would have been drastically curtailed long ago. The US government can keep raising the debt ceiling to pay for SS, and, it’s not sustainable. OPERS cannot and we can be thankful for that stewardship as it will be there for us for a long time. In my subdivision there are a few public retirees. Nobody has the quality of benefits that I do. My neighbor was CFO of a state retirement system in the SW part of US. He met regularly with other reps of state retirement systems. He said I was lucky to have OPERS as it was, in his opinion, the most responsibly run, wisely-invested system he had seen. Their planning and foresight kept them in good shape when other systems overspent, invested speculatively or caved to political pressure to increase benefits…which proved catastrophic. So, stop your complaining and enjoy what you have. You’re lucky to have it, our grandparents and Gr. grandparents had nothing.

        Reply
        • August 25, 2023 at 3:43 pm
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          Jeff,

          Any comparison with Social Security must include the fact that the federal system pays a compound COLA, vs. a simple COLA like many state public pensions including OPERS. If we had employed a compound COLA starting back in the early 1970s when the benefit began, our system would be in a noticeably worse funded position.

          Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 1:40 pm
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    Regardless of when anyone retires ie before 2013 or after… we all as retired folks endure same pains with cost of living. There should be 1 rate for all to be fair. Why should one benefit more than another?

    Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 1:49 pm
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    I have friends who have Social Security, I have OPERS – OPERS wins hands down. Thank you for all you do to keep my retirement solvent!

    Reply
    • August 25, 2023 at 1:01 pm
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      If the government would not have taken money out of social security or at least paid back the so-called loan, there would be no problem with solvency. Pay the money back instead of sending money overseas every time something happens over there.

      Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 1:50 pm
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    Thanks OPERS for all that you do. I am blessed and grateful for what I receive and the hard efforts that go into protecting my benefits. I also find that the staff at OPERS when I call are always kind and very helpful.

    Reply
    • August 24, 2023 at 4:39 pm
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      I agree 100% with Kathleen Skinner.

      Reply
      • August 24, 2023 at 10:45 pm
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        Opers is awesome. Can tell by the folks who are jealous they didn’t stay in the program. Go bucks!

        Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 2:00 pm
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    Just glad our pension is secure

    Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 2:04 pm
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    My question is who determined the cutoff for the 3% raise. I did not retire until Nov 2013, which means I was not eligible for the 3% raise. I get the fact that a lot of people are not eligible as well,
    but as one member said, the cost-of-living continues to rise concerning health care, gas, utilities, shelter, food etc. Now what, you get $10 for the year. What’s in your account? Hopefully, you are making ends meet, but some has to choose.

    Reply
    • August 28, 2023 at 8:24 am
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      Cheryl,

      Like many other pension systems across the country, OPERS had to adjust benefits after the Great Recession. One of the most-expensive benefits we offer is the COLA, so we tied it to inflation for those retiring after a certain date. That was necessary to preserve our system. Obviously, there would be those who would retire after the cutoff date.

      Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 2:06 pm
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    I retired from the fire department in 2002 and receive benefits from OP&F. I continued to work part time with another fire department and paid into PERS. I have received a small benefit from PERS for the past 12 years with no increased COLA. Why, is my COLA only based on benefits from OP&F ?

    Reply
    • August 24, 2023 at 4:37 pm
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      Jeffrey,

      If your retirement is under another retirement system, you would be subject to the terms of that system.

      Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 2:07 pm
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    I’m 81 and I feel thr ‘squeeze’ just like many fellow retirees. I’m alone and was a signer parent so only my earnings are the basis of my retirement income. I’m totally sympathetic with everyone’s struggles. That being said, I’m also aware the generations following ‘baby boomers’ have steady fallen in numbers. There are less workers putting into the pot than there are retirees drawing out of it. Add to that we are living longer so collecting longer. That can only continue so long before the ‘well’ runs dry. I have to hope and believe that the financial advisors and managers are doing their best to keep the fund solvent for as long as possible. 🤷🏼‍♀️

    Reply
    • August 25, 2023 at 3:19 pm
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      Mary,

      You’ve summarized many of the issues that all public pension funds are facing these days, as we’ve been saying for some time.

      Reply
    • August 26, 2023 at 2:41 pm
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      Well said Mary.

      Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 2:27 pm
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    I agree with Chris. We should get at least 3%. You get your bonuses but those you are supposed to serve get the bottom of the barrel. We are ALL retirees living on a fixed income. Your team needs to step up to provide for us who worked so hard to get this retirement and do what is right and not convenient.

    Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 2:33 pm
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    I expected more from OPERS after working 30 years faithfully. In regards to COLA and having to subsidize my Medicare Care; OPERS covers my medical at less then 78 percent. I didn’t pay into Medicare because I was working for state 1982-2012, my Medicare for A and B is $442

    Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 2:41 pm
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    I will never understand the logic behind the retirement date for COLA. Those of us who had no choice to retire before cutoff date should all be treated equal. The COLA should be spread out the same to ALL who receive the benefit of our years of paying into the system.

    Reply
    • August 28, 2023 at 8:30 am
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      Ed,

      The difference in COLA rates was part of pension legislation that helped secure the system after the Great Recession.

      Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 2:42 pm
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    I retired around 2005, and have never received a COLA from OPERS. I think I was told why but am so old now I cannot remember. Please refresh my memory if you would. Thanks.

    Reply
    • September 5, 2023 at 8:18 am
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      William,

      Contact our Member Services team at 800-222-7377 for that information.

      Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 2:42 pm
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    I have been retired for 23 years and am living comfortably on my OPERS benefits since it was based upon the previous “30 and out” determination. I am sorry for those who started under one set of rules, or promises, and had those rules changed, or promises yanked, in midstream and were not “grandfathered” based on employment date. With that in mind, we are still better off than Social Security since we and our employers contribute a portion of our income without a cap. It is up to us to be aware of the performance of the policies and investments of OPERS when elections time rolls around and speak our minds through our ballots.

    Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 3:14 pm
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    I am not going to complain. I’m probably one of very few people who do not complain. I see how much I get monthly compared to others on SS and it is considerably more. I am thankful that I was able to retire at age 50 instead of waiting until I hit 67 and got a lousy $1600 a month from an organization called Social Security that’s due to run out. Be careful what you wish for and be thankful.

    Reply
    • August 25, 2023 at 10:26 am
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      Unless you have health insurance from another source, you will be in the marketplace for 15 years. I retired on disability in 2009 so I missed my highest earning years, and I cannot work as some retirees do. I am thrilled I will be 65 next year-I pay over a thousand dollars plus per month and still paid out over 16 thousand dollars to get to my out of pocket maximum. I still have co-pays due. One of my friends also retired at 50 with 30 years and pays almost two thousand dollars per month for health insurance.

      Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 3:46 pm
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    Newly retired so this is new to me. Trying to figure the part out about not receiving COLA on last check but it is on very first check. If I draw $3500 my first check and receive 3% Cola on that this year my 2024 monthly allotment would be $3605. In 2025 we receive a 2.5% COLA now my allotment is only $3587.50 . How is this fair? Looks like I would be losing money? Did I miss something? Also could not find the BLOG that explains the process.

    Reply
    • August 28, 2023 at 8:35 am
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      Shelly,

      Here is the explanation of the COLA, taken from the Benefit Recipient Handbook, which is on our website:

      All benefit recipients who have received benefits for 12 months are entitled to an annual cost-ofliving adjustment (COLA). For each allowance, pension or benefit granted prior to Jan. 7, 2013, the COLA will be a fixed three percent. For each allowance, pension or benefit granted after Jan. 7, 2013, the COLA will be three percent until Dec. 31, 2018. Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, the COLA will be based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), not to exceed 3 percent, as determined by the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for the twelve-month period ending June 30 of the immediately preceding calendar year.

      The COLA is not compounded. It will always be based on your initial retirement benefit, not the benefit plus accumulated allowances. If the CPI used to determine a COLA is negative, no allowance will be granted in the following year.

      Reply
    • August 28, 2023 at 6:19 pm
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      I know we are experiencing difficulties right now, but we are blessed to have this pension with the State of Ohio. I have heard some horror stories about pensions.

      Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 3:50 pm
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    My husband is an OPERS retiree since 1999. I am an STRS (State Teachers Retirement System) retiree since 2007. My husband has received a COLA EVERY YEAR since he has retired. Whereas, I had a 7 year period with receiving NO COLA from STRS. Last year, 2022, STRS provided a 3% COLA and this year we are getting a 1% COLA. Please know OPERS retirees are VERY fortunate to have individuals working to continue to provide a COLA for their retirees. My husband says thank you OPERS for continuing to provide a COLA of some % for their retirees. Just wanted to share, sometimes we do not realize other state pension plans are not nearly managed as well as OPERS.

    Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 4:03 pm
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    Thanks for the update. Thanks for the confirmation that we will still have our 3% COLA, that was a part of the voluntary early retirement program we participated in in 2012, scheduled to begin in 2023.

    Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 4:18 pm
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    Another option available to support public service employees is to amend the states personal income tax code as it relates to public service pensions. Several states have taken a progressive step toward their retirees which helps their retirement systems long term benefit packages. Just say’in….

    Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 4:19 pm
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    SINCE THE SO CALLED FIXED COLA IS ONLY BASED ON THE FIRST YEAR PAY AT RETIREMENT, QUIT CALLING IT A COLA SINCE IT IS NOT COMPOUNDED AND IS JUST ADDED TO YOUR LAST YEAR PAYMENT. AFTER 12 YEARS I DO NOT GET A 3% INCREASE.

    Reply
    • August 28, 2023 at 8:37 am
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      Mark,

      It is still a COLA — a simple COLA is one that’s based on the initial benefit amount.

      Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 4:34 pm
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    I’m extremely grateful for still receiving PERS. I retired April 2014, very unfortunate what happened to other unions and their benefits.

    Reply
    • August 25, 2023 at 1:32 pm
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      I am also thankful for PERS,, I know what my husband gets from Soc Security, he worked a hard dirty, dangerous job and his SS is almost half of what I get from OPERS.. Keep OPERS strong,,

      Reply
    • August 26, 2023 at 12:29 pm
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      I totally agree. My husband worked 29.5 years under a Teamsters pension system and was cheated out of the 6 months he needed to receive a much more generous pension. They denied him the right to buy the 6 months. Furthermore his pension amount is so little it barely covers groceries for the month.
      I’m grateful for our pension.

      Reply
    • August 26, 2023 at 10:16 pm
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      I feel very blessed to be retired under OPERS. When talking with others about the benefits from their retirement plans, OPERS has done an outstanding job of investments in order to make our retirement secure. Many no longer have any benefits and their health care programs no longer exist. It’s true we are all experiencing some hardship but I choose to look on the bright side and be thankful for what OPERS has done and continues to do.

      Reply
    • August 26, 2023 at 10:18 pm
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      I feel very blessed to be retired under OPERS. When talking with others about the benefits from their retirement plans, OPERS has done an outstanding job of investments in order to make our retirement secure. Many no longer have any benefits and their health care programs no longer exist. It’s true we are all experiencing some hardship but I choose to look on the bright side and be thankful for what OPERS has done and continues to do.

      Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 5:46 pm
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    I’m grateful to have an OPERS retirement. Retiring at age 52 was something I never imaged when I was young. A 3% COLA isn’t a whole lot but it’s more than many receive.

    I worked 32+ years FT under OPERS. But I also worked many years under SSA. I’ve read the literature but I still don’t understand why our (OPERS retirees) Social Security benefits are butchered just because we have a government retirement. I understand everyone that has a private pension still gets full Social Security — why are we penalized?
    And yes, I know this is not an OPERS rule so no disrespect to OPERS — but maybe OPERS can help correct this issue.

    Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 6:48 pm
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    I am so grateful to OPERS and the people who work there and I
    just want to say Thank You . My husband didn’t have a pension
    and if it weren’t for OPERS I could not have retired.

    Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 7:21 pm
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    I am in total agreement with you. Our system treats us well and we have to remain vigilant to keep it intact.

    Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 7:45 pm
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    While I am very grateful to be receiving the COLA, I always feel OPERS is setting us up for cuts to that benefit. And I also want to know what percentage of raises and bonuses the OPERS executives are getting. I want to trust OPERS, but their past behavior makes me wary.

    Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 7:53 pm
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    For people who complain about only getting a 3% cola, you would be worse off getting only 2.3% like the rest of us. The rate of inflation on food, gasoline and all other forms of energy is FAR BEYOND what we are being given. If you’re on OPERS the only way to make sure your cola keeps up with inflation is showing up and vote to remove the money spending and incompetent politicians responsible for the insane policies that have put us here!

    Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 8:09 pm
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    I don’t understand why they keep referring to this increase as cost of living. This would be like saying your cost of living increase when you were working would be based on your starting wage, even though you worked and got increases in wages over those years. A true COLA is based on what your earnings or retirement benefits are now not what you started at. I always hear that there would be a danger of running out of funds if they did this….as long as politicians are included in this retirement system, that will never happen.

    Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 8:55 pm
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    I appreciate anything you can receive from PERS !

    Reply
  • August 24, 2023 at 9:31 pm
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    The last few years have been tough for sure, but inflation is coming down. Presently at or about 3%, so there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Reply
  • August 25, 2023 at 2:31 am
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    It is true that the CPI-W increase from last June (2022) to this past June (2023) was only 2.3%. However the CPI-W increase from June 2021 to June 2022 was 9.8%; the prior year increase (June 2020 to June 2021) was 6.0%. In other words, over the past 3 years (June 2020 to June 2023). The cost of living per the CPI-W has increased 19.3%. Annual increases of only 3% or 2.3% from OPERS are putting us further and further behind. Then the additional salt in the wound is that annual COLA increases calculated from the prior year are applied to our pension amount when we first started collecting years ago, not the prior year. Sad. The stock market has literally quadrupled since 2008. Why haven’t OPERS investments increased substantially as well?

    Reply
    • August 28, 2023 at 8:58 am
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      Greg,

      The COLA was meant to mitigate the effects of inflation, not to fully account for inflation. That was true when OPERS started issuing the adjustment in the high-inflationary times of the 1970s. OPERS’ investments have increased since the Great Recession. Remember that we pay out more than $7 billion in pension benefits and health care expenses every year.

      Reply
      • September 4, 2023 at 8:16 pm
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        Michael,
        Thanks for the reply. I am not arguing that the COLA should “fully account” for inflation. I understand that OPERS COLA’s are intended to “mitigate”, but to what degree?? Shouldn’t there be some kind of standards to assure that the mitigation is in a reasonable range? As for the $7 billion outlays: How much did OPERS assets increase through both contributions and returns on investments during that same period? Thanks for your time. Greg Eppich

        Reply
        • September 5, 2023 at 8:26 am
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          Greg,

          Our asset information for the past several years is available for anyone to look up on our website. Just go to the financial reports portion of opers.org.

          As for the outlays, the COLA makes up about $1.5 billion of our annual $7 billion in pension benefit payments.

          Reply
          • September 6, 2023 at 3:17 am
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            When you say $1.5 billion in COLA as a part of the total $7 billion in benefits, can I assume that the $1.5 billion is a cumulative figure of all COLAS combined over the years since the OPERS pension system began? $1.5 billion is 21% of $7 billion. How much (roughly) will this year’s COLA total cost in $ figures be? Thanks for your time.

          • September 12, 2023 at 3:43 pm
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            Greg,

            The $1.5 billion is an annual figure.

          • September 20, 2023 at 12:24 am
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            If total pension costs for the year are $7 billion. COLA costs cannot possibly amount to $1.5 billion of that amount.

          • September 20, 2023 at 8:57 am
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            Greg,

            The figures are accurate.

  • August 25, 2023 at 7:15 am
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    Yes, we have better retirement pay and benefits from OPERS than Social Security. However, I worked for 10 years paying into Social Security, before working under OPERS. According to the calculations, I won’t get any of it. That does upset me and I think those of us not getting any Social Security have a right to be upset. I went to an OPERS meeting last spring and we were told that you are trying to get the percentage changed, so that we can get some or more of our Social Security. Do you have an idea if and when that change will happen? Concerning the COLA raise, I didn’t realize it was always based on your original pay…I just thought it was an increase based on what you are currently getting. That’s a bummer! And 2.3%? Total bummer! Oh well…it is what it is, I guess. Regardless, I want to commend all the OPERS employees out there. Whenever I contact you with questions, you all are so nice and helpful. I wish all “businesses” answered phones like you guys do!

    Reply
  • August 25, 2023 at 8:12 am
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    I’m wondering how many of the people complaining saved any money for retirement by paying into a 403b or an IRA during their working years. I feel fortunate to have OPERS. I also paid a small amount each pay period into a 403b and after 30 years it added up nicely. I’ll start taking it as an income stream when I turn 73, People dont seem to plan for retirement anymore.

    Reply
  • August 25, 2023 at 9:01 am
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    Since 2007, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, BLS, publishes monthly CPIs to 3 decimal places. The annual June CPI-W is 2.342%. My question is why OPERS is using only 1 decimal place instead of 3 or at least 2? Using 2 decimal places, will be a more accurate figure than 1. In that case, the 2024 COLA increase would have been 2.34%. Maybe the OPERS Board of Trustees would consider using a 3 or at least 2 desimal places instead of 1 when it comes to COLA effective immediately.

    Reply
    • August 28, 2023 at 9:05 am
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      Georgio,

      We round up or down based on what that hundredth-decimal value is, so over time it will even out. The .04% you’re referring to would return about a dollar a month, after taxes, to someone with a $3,000 monthly benefit.

      Reply
  • August 25, 2023 at 9:28 am
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    Please be reminded that social security retirement benefit is based on your highest 35 years of earnings and 3 to 5 years like OPERS.

    Reply
  • August 25, 2023 at 10:10 am
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    I will be getting 2.3% next year, which won’t do much for me, but at least it isn’t as bad as the half percent I got several years ago. I wish I could have retired 1 year earlier…….

    Reply
  • August 25, 2023 at 11:37 am
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    I know 3% is not enough in today life but it is better than nothing, If we raise it to much then their will not be enough money left for us now and for those who will be retiring in the future we will see big cuts in our retirement checks and will probably run out of money like Social Security will be. I would love to receive more than 3% but right now 3% is better than nothing.

    Reply
  • August 25, 2023 at 11:41 am
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    The original meaning of “COLA” referred to an adjustment to the “cost of living.” That would include the basic human needs of shelter, clothing, and food. That should be the focus of OPERS’ annual adjustment.

    But instead, OPERS has decided to treat the COLA as a “QUOLA,” (Quality of life Adjustment.) Therefore, other things like vacations, luxury cars, fashion, etc. are included above and beyond the essentials of human life. There is a significant difference between the “cost of life” and the “quality of life.” OPERS should recognize this in how they apply the COLA.

    IF OPERS acted on the original meaning of the COLA, (essentially the cost of staying alive), they could grant a COLA across the board to all members for the first $30,000 of annual retirement benefits. This would be EQUALLY applied to all members. It would be designed to keep our state’s retirees from falling into poverty. (Additional QUOLA payments could be added for the recipients that fall into a higher socio-economic class if funds were available.)

    As a member that once had the leadership responsibility for divvying up the “available pie” for public employees, I believe that OPERS’ current practice is not in keeping with the ethical and moral standards that were applied in the typical Ohio public workplace. In fact, the OPERS across the board “COLA” is ethically bereft and morally bankrupt.

    We have retirees who worked a lifetime and never earned a salary over $25,000 and we have retirees that worked 30 years and made salaries in the $100’s of thousands of dollars. I know this as a FAMILY FACT. My Mother worked as a County employee and ended her career at a salary of $23,000. I held a high ranking management position and made many multiples of that. She should not be receiving less than me to cover her most basic COSTS OF LIFE.

    OPERS should be prudently stewarded to avoid financial bankruptcy. OPERS should also be stewarded to avoid MORAL BANKRUPTCY. PLEASE re-think how you are applying the COLA. PLEASE consider the unequal hardship that your current practice causes our membership.

    (I have attempted to make similar comments on the COLA in the past, and my posts have been censored. I am hoping that this is not going to be censored.) different choice for our membership. Instead of treating the “COLA” as a “Cost of Living Adjustment” they choose to treat it as a “QUOLA” “Quality of Life Adjustment.” There is a huge difference, and OPERS should re-think the ethics of what they refer to as a COLA.

    Reply
    • August 28, 2023 at 5:46 pm
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      This makes a lot of sense. I hope OPERS seriously considers it. The high wage earners would have an easier time bearing the brunt of some cuts, especially as they had more disposable income to funnel into a deferred compensation account.

      Reply
  • August 25, 2023 at 1:37 pm
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    I never understood why retirement date matters when it comes to COLA. Is the cost of living of those retired before 2013 higher than those who retired after 2013? Do they pay more for food, gas, etc. than those who retired after 2013? I am not for reducing anybody’s COLA, I am looking for equality.
    I know the answer is that it is in the state law. I am sure OPERS knows how to change the law, so we all get the same and consistent COLA increases.

    Reply
    • August 31, 2023 at 4:06 pm
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      Hamid,

      The change back to an inflation-based COLA for some retirees was part of needed pension legislation in 2012. It was necessary to control the benefit structure after the downside of the Great Recession. We did wait several years before implementing the inflation-based COLA.

      Reply
  • August 25, 2023 at 5:33 pm
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    I retired in 2011 with 30 years of service at the age of 54. At that time there were 2 of 3 health care options that would have cost me nothing out of pocket, in fact OPERS paid me in the form of a HSA. My monthly benefit was 75% of my highest annual salary. I could go on. In today’s job market pensions are a thing in the distant past, replaced with IRA matches, which with Social Security benefits pay a fraction of what OPERS retirees receive. I find it curious (ridiculous) that retirees who benefit every day from the OPERS benefits and services have the gall to whine about a 3% or a 2.3% COLA. I’m delighted to see any increase at all and love OPERS more than ever.

    Reply
    • August 28, 2023 at 11:34 am
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      You might want to consider what the COLA is for other state retirement programs. This would also be helpful for OPERS to plainly state.

      Comparing to 401K’s is not apples to oranges, nor is Social Security.

      Reply
        • September 28, 2023 at 3:41 pm
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          Thank you, Michael. This is very, very helpful. I would like OPERS to consider what is referred to in this document as the “Limited Benefit Basis.” This would be the moral path forward to protecting our members from poverty. It would be essentially “fair” to all members. Here is the definition provided in the document:

          Limited Benefit Basis
          Some retirement systems award a COLA calculated on a portion of a retiree’s annual benefit, rather than the entire
          amount. For example, one system provides a COLA of up to three percent applied to only the first $13,000 of benefits.
          In such cases, the COLA can also be tied to an external indicator, such as CPI. Other factors, such as delayed onset,
          may also be in place.

          I strongly encourage that OPERS consider this path forward. I believe it is not only “fair,” it is the morally right thing to do.

          The table in the document that you provided shows that there are 7 states that apply their COLA in this manner. Therefore, I believe that it must pass legal muster and is a choice that OPERS could make.

          Thank you again for this very helpful document.

          Please let me know how I might be able to address this matter to our current Board.

          Reply
          • October 2, 2023 at 1:51 pm
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            Steven,

            Neither OPERS staff nor the OPERS Board of Trustees has the authority to change the COLA. Only the Ohio legislature can do that.

  • August 25, 2023 at 5:39 pm
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    OPERS is a great system. It predates the establishment of Social Security and should have been used as an example for all retirement systems and Social Security to follow. Over the years it management and investment strategy have been superior to other public and private systems.

    Reply
  • August 25, 2023 at 8:08 pm
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    There are no easy answers to greater demand on funds due to fewer people contributing and more people receiving benefits, most of whom are enjoying more years in retirement than those a generation ahead of us. There are no easy answers to increased health care costs. OPERS does an excellent job communicating with retirees, including communicating their rationale for decisions. I appreciate that.

    Reply
  • August 25, 2023 at 9:32 pm
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    I, too, don’t understand the date used in calculating COLA. I have background in international business. My experience is that it doesn’t take much effort to modify a computer financial system entry. I trust that OPERS is deeply concerned about retirees. We know OPERS wanted to eliminate COLA but wasn’t able to partly because of COVID. Even though I am watching and experiencing the impact of inflation, I am grateful for the 3%. I hope that OPERS has reconsidered its earlier interest of eliminating COLA. Blessings to all those who are working at OPERS.

    Reply
  • August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm
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    I believe social security is running out because 800 billion was stolen to fund Obamacare OPERS dropped 60 thousand people off their healthcare yet received two years of their highest returns in history of OPERS and now pays a third party for profit group to fund me marketplace cheap healthcare coverage at 1200 a month plus 8750 over 22 thousand dollars not much you can defend here next it will be climate change effecting our pensions

    Reply
    • September 3, 2023 at 4:14 pm
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      I hear you Radene. I was in that marketplace pickle for 16 months with the same premiums as you and deductibles. Thank God I made it to 65 yrs old . Pre.medicare retirees definitely got the short end of the stick on those terrible changes.

      Reply
  • August 25, 2023 at 11:57 pm
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    I am 2-plus years now into my OPERS retirement after working 42 years and paying into the system, and so far I am happy with how things are working. I do wish that we would receive our stipend bi-weekly, instead of just once a month. It would be easier for me to plan for my monthly expenses.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2023 at 8:29 am
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    I am so very grateful for my OPERS benefit…with or without a COLA. Those who complain might want to stop and appreciate what we have and how OPERS has consistently made decisions that have benefitted us in the long run.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2023 at 9:51 am
    Permalink

    I find it hard to believe that we are suppose to only receive 3% increase! Have you gone to the grocery store in the last 2 years or filled up your gas tank? Even a 5% increase wouldn’t catch us up for the past 2 years increase.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2023 at 5:25 pm
    Permalink

    The OPERS system had the foresight to make sure the system will stay solvent. Years ago they had area meetings that explained why they were doing what they did. The rising costs that has hit the USA has been self inflicted but the system should stay the way they are to maintain a strong system for the current retirees and future retirees.

    Reply
  • August 27, 2023 at 7:48 am
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    Thank you, OPERS.
    I started paying into OPERS at 17, retired at 53. Since then, I have worked part time for another agency, paying into the reemployed retiree program, as to retire again with the option to ad to my monthly benefit or take a lump payout of the OPERS annuity.
    Also contributed to the Differed Compensation program.
    I was taught by my widowed mother, a single parent, to plan for the future just as “OPERS” is doing for us.
    My retirement has been and will be much better than many others that will depend on SS.

    Reply
  • August 27, 2023 at 1:57 pm
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    Retirement funds are investments. If you want to be fair base payments on the amount you paid in each year and how long it has been invested.

    Reply
    • August 28, 2023 at 8:18 am
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      Steve,

      That’s exactly what OPERS does, as do other pension funds.

      Reply
  • August 27, 2023 at 5:28 pm
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    I am in agreement with commenters that praise the OPERS system. It’s possibly the best run pension system in the USA.

    Reply
  • August 27, 2023 at 8:59 pm
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    Thank you OPERS. you are doing a great job for us!!!

    Reply
  • August 29, 2023 at 7:15 pm
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    If the original retiree began receiving benefits before 2013 but they died in 2022 and their spouse started collecting the survivor benefit in 2022, is the spouse getting the 3% cost of living increase or the lower rate?

    Reply
    • September 5, 2023 at 11:32 am
      Permalink

      Mary Kay, The effective date of the Survivor benefit must be prior to February 1, 2013 for the recipient to receive a simple 3% COLA increase annually. If the Survivor Benefit effective date is on or after February 1, 2013 the simple COLA increase will be equal to the percent of change of the CPI-W, not to exceed 3% of the original survivor benefit amount.

      Reply
  • August 31, 2023 at 7:19 am
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    Washington will never do that voluntarily. They are too focused on taking the money that is owed to us and spending it on non citizens who have never contributed a dime into our system. I paid into SS for years and at the very least should be given a check for the money that I paid into MY ACCOUNT as well as the money my employer paid into it as well. That account is should be no different than putting money into a savings account!. A class action may be the only way to right this wrong.

    Reply
  • September 2, 2023 at 7:07 pm
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    With all the complaining about not getting a true cost of living based on your present pension payout, how stable do you think the pension plan would be if the COLA was based on your annual pension amount say over the last 20 years. With the number of retirees now receiving a pension I don’t feel the plan could stay solvent unless the cola was completely cut off. Something is always better than nothing.

    Reply
    • September 5, 2023 at 8:22 am
      Permalink

      John,

      OPERS did a study a few years ago and determined that switching from a simple COLA to a compound COLA would cost the system an additional $25 billion over 30 years. The COLA is a very expensive benefit.

      Reply
  • September 4, 2023 at 5:38 pm
    Permalink

    I just want to thank OPERS administration for looking out for the retirees and having pleasant people in their office when you call Columbus for information. I have commented many times on how grateful I am for my pension and the COLA when we get it. I too worked many years under SSA before ending my career of many years in the State system. I also thought it was unfair that we couldn’t draw on the SSA account that we paid into for many years. I am a widow and draw a VERY SMALL widow’s benefit from my husband’s SSA but at least it buys a bag of groceries. When you do that you have to lose a big percentage of his amount because of the Windfall Rule when working for the government. I know that OPERS has tried several times to change that rule but Congress doesn’t want to do anything about it so nothing changes. Any way thank you OPERS, I am very grateful for all you do!

    Reply
  • October 6, 2023 at 10:09 am
    Permalink

    I retired after 27 years in 2014 as an adjunct professor under STRS- an adjunct professor who taught 3 courses a semester for 27 years at one university evenings, weekends and summers. I then continued teaching for 3 more years 1-2 classes evenings at another university. I received no COLA for 5 years and STRS has frozen COLAS for the last 3 or so years. in 2024 it will be 1%. I received only 15 years credit since i was an adjunct and under semester contract. I wasnt considered permanent although I taught more than many permanent professors and every semester. My point is simple. Be GRATEFUL OPERS people. You have a good, workable, people oriented, concerned retirement system. No, it isnt much increase but it is one and we all, in today’s world, have to make necessary albeit often painful decisions in life. But thank you for all you have done in the years you served.

    Reply

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