Through five months of the counting period toward the January 2020 federal retirement COLA, the count stands at -0.1 percent, following an increase in February of 0.4 percentage points in the inflation index used to set that adjustment. The count has been in negative territory since the second month of the counting period.

Note: There is no formal link between COLAs and pay raises.

COLAs on the FERS basic retirement benefit are based on the change in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI/W) average of the third calendar quarter of one year to the next. If the CPI/W increases by at least 3 percent in a given year, the COLA increase will be the CPI/W minus 1 percent.

Read more on COLAs – Federal Cost of Living Adjustments at ask.FEDweek.com