“Why are FERS annuitants under the age of 62 who met requirements for an immediate annuity (MRA and 30 years service) excluded from receiving COLAs? Being under 62 does not protect annuitants from inflation and increased FEHB premiums.
With limited exceptions, COLAs are not payable to FERS retirees until they reach age 62. The exceptions are for law enforcement officers, firefighters and air traffic controllers, military reserve technicians who lost their military status due to medical reasons and were age 50 with at least 25 years of service, special CIA employees and disability retirees.
These provisions have been a matter of law since FERS came on line in 1983. There have been no efforts to change that.
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Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service, is the resident expert on retirement and the federal government at Federal Times. From 1979 until 1995, he served as an assistant director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management handling recruiting and examining, white and blue collar pay, retirement, insurance and other issues. Opinions expressed are his own.