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COLA (Cost-of-Living Adjustment)

Retired SDCERA Members are eligible for an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the San Diego area.

Tier A, Tier I and Tier II Members are eligible for up to a 3% COLA increase each year. Tier B, Tier C and Tier D Members are eligible for up to a 2% COLA increase. The applicable COLA is reflected in a Member's April benefit payment.

Members who have a retirement date on or before March 31 are eligible for that year's COLA. Members who retire after March 31 will be eligible to receive a COLA in future years, when applicable.

Click here for a list of COLA rates effective April 1, 2021 for all Members that retired on or before March 31, 2021.


Because the maximum allowable COLA is 2% or 3%, depending on your Tier, an increase in the CPI above the maximum is placed in your COLA bank and can be applied in a future year if the CPI change for that year is less than the maximum. For example, if you are a Tier A Member and the CPI is 4%, SDCERA would increase your benefit by 3% and place 1% in your COLA bank. The following year, if the CPI is only 2%, you would receive a 3% COLA (2% based on the CPI and 1% from your COLA bank).

CPI decreases are also banked and a negative CPI will reduce your COLA bank.

STAR (Supplemental Targeted Adjustment for Retirees) COLA

The Supplemental Targeted Adjustment for Retirees (STAR COLA) adds a supplemental cost-of-living payment to the monthly retirement payments. To be eligible, you must be a Retired Member who had lost more than 20% of your purchasing power as of April 1, 2007.

If you are eligible for the STAR COLA, it is a permanent part of your monthly retirement benefit and will be eligible for the cost-of-living adjustment of up to 3% each year.