Military Advantage

2013 Retiree and Veteran COLA


By now military retirees, survivors and veterans should have seen a slight boost in compensation, military retirement pay, Social Security, and annuity programs in January  -- 1.7 percent for most.

The following from MOAA which explains how the 2013 COLA will affect military retirement pay.

Source: Military Officers Association of America -

It’s official. The 2013 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for military retired pay, SBP annuities, Social Security checks, and VA disability and survivor benefits is 1.7%, which went into effect last December 1.

But there are two categories of military retirees who won’t receive a 1.7% COLA.

2012 Retirees: Servicemembers who retired during calendar year 2012 will receive a somewhat smaller, partial COLA for this year only, because they already received a January military pay raise (which also raised their 2012 retired pay).

Members who retired between Jan. 1, 2012, and Sept. 30, 2012, will receive a partial COLA based on the calendar quarter in which they retired. Jan.-Mar. retirees will receive 1.7%; Apr.-Jun. retirees, 1.0%; and Jul.-Sept. retirees 0.2%. Those who retire after Oct. 1, 2012, will see no COLA this year. Members retired during 2012 will receive full-year COLAs in future years.

REDUX Retirees: Servicemembers who entered service on or after Aug. 1, 1986 and elected to accept a $30,000 career retention bonus at 15 years of service agreed to accept reduced retired pay and COLAs as a trade-off for the bonus. REDUX retirees’ COLAs are depressed 1% below the normal COLA rate, so they’ll see a 0.7% COLA.

The 1.7% 2013 COLA will be the fourth-lowest COLA since the turn of the century – trailing only the zero-COLA years of 2009-10 and the 1.4% of 2002.

Visit the MOAA website to learn more about COLA and other issues affecting servicemember and retiree benefits.

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