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Welcome to MOAA’s COLA Watch page, where you’ll find a monthly update on the inflation figures used to set the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for payments received by military retirees, disabled veterans, Social Security beneficiaries, and many others receiving federal compensation.
The October 2023 Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), released Nov. 14, was 302.071, 0.3% above the FY 2024 baseline of 301.236. The next CPI-W release is set for Dec. 12.
The CPI-W figures from the end of this fiscal year (July, August, and September 2024) will be compared to the FY 2024 COLA baseline to calculate the 2025 COLA (see "How Your COLA Is Calculated," below).
The 2024 COLA will be 3.2%.
The September 2023 CPI-W, released Oct. 12, was 302.257, 3.5% above the FY 2023 baseline of 291.901. The CPI-W figures from the end of this fiscal year (July, August, and September 2023) are compared to the FY 2023 COLA baseline to calculate the 2024 COLA.
Last year’s COLA was 8.7%, and the previous year’s COLA was 5.9%. Aside from those adjustments, the 2024 COLA will be the largest since a 3.6% increase for the 2012 calendar year.
Calculations for the 2025 COLA will use the baseline of 301.236 – the average of the CPI-W figures for the last three months of the 2023 fiscal year.
Why MOAA Tracks COLA
Protecting the value of service-earned benefits has long been a pillar of MOAA’s advocacy. MOAA has led previous efforts to rebuff budget plans seeking to reduce or eliminate COLA for military retirees, many of which have taken root shortly after large increases.
The nature of a higher COLA is to preserve purchasing power for retirees, VA beneficiaries, and surviving spouses – not to fund other government programs.
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The yearly cost-of-living adjustment is made by comparing the average CPI-W from monthly reports in July, August, and September of the current fiscal year to the average for the same months of the year prior. MOAA also provides a regular calculation for the monthly COLA change: (Monthly CPI-Yearly baseline CPI)/Yearly baseline CPI.
Remember, active duty pay raises are calculated differently. Learn more about CPI on the BLS web page.
More COLA Articles
- Could Congress Come for Your COLA? Here’s Why MOAA Stands Ready to Fight
- Why a COLA Spike Could Put Retirees’ Pay Adjustment at Risk