What is a COLA?

COLA is a cost of living adjustment to wages, pension, etc. based on a standard.

For Maine Public Service Retirees who have a pension from Maine Public Service Retirement System (MainePERS), the COLA is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The CPI is a measure that examines the weighted average of prices of a basket of consumer goods and services, such as transportation, food, and medical care. It is calculated by taking price changes for each item in the predetermined basket of goods and averaging them. Changes in the CPI are used to assess price changes associated with the cost of living; the CPI is one of the most frequently used statistics for identifying periods of inflation or deflation.

For retired public service educators and State retirees, the COLA is calculated on the first $20,000 of the pension indexed.

For the majority of participating local districts (PLD-municipalities) the COLA is calculated on the full pension benefit.