Inflation protection of retirement income is an important part of economic security. Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) are a typical way for states and cities to protect the pension benefits and other retirement income they provide public employees. But there is a lot of variance in how these COLAs are offered. The data below shows what inflation protection is provided, what limits there are, and who can authorize COLAs. (Last updated: January 14, 2020)

Public Pension COLA Rates

Source: Public plan actuarial valuations, press releases, retirement plan websites.

Plan types: Guaranteed income plan (GIP, typically a defined benefit “pension”); Guaranteed return plan (GRP, typically a defined benefit “cash balance” plan); Hybrid plan (HYB, typically combining defined benefit and defined contribution components); Defined contribution plan (DCP).