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Eligible Retirees to Receive Cost of Living Adjustment COLA) in July 2011

Eligible retirees and beneficiaries of the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System will receive a COLA applied to their monthly retirement benefit in July 2011.

As you may recall, to avoid an unprecedented negative COLA and reduction in retirement benefits last July, Governor Martin O'Malley and the General Assembly moved to postpone last year's negative COLA and have benefits remain at their current level. It was determined that the negative cost-of-living adjustment, -.356%, would be deducted from the expected positive COLA for July 2011. The difference would then be applied to the retirees' monthly payment beginning this July.

This action creates two different COLA's for eligible retirees—one rate for eligible retirees and beneficiaries who would have received a negative COLA in July 2010 and a different, unreduced rate for those who were not eligible for a COLA in 2010 but are in 2011.

For those retirees who were retired on or before July 1, 2009, the COLA will be 1.284% (1.640% - 0.356% = 1.284%)

For those retirees who retired after July 1, 2009 and on or before July 1, 2010, the COLA will be 1.640%.

Members who retired after July 1, 2010 are not eligible for a COLA until they have been retired one full year as of July 1.