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2021 cost-of-living adjustments announced for UCRP benefit recipients

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University of California Retirement Plan (UCRP) and UC-PERS Plus 5 Plan benefit recipients, including those receiving survivor and UCRP disability income, will receive a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) effective July 1, 2021. The increase will appear in checks paid on July 30.

July 1, 2021, COLA rates by retirement date
Retirement Date COLA
On or before July 1, 2019 2.00%
July 2, 2019, up to and including July 1, 2020  1.28%

The COLA for UC-PERS Plus 5 benefit recipients is the same as that for UCRP benefit recipients with a retirement date of October 1, 1991.

UCRP benefit recipients are eligible to receive a COLA if they have been retired one full year by July 1. Therefore, those members whose retirement or disability date is after July 1, 2020, are not yet eligible to receive a COLA.

How the COLA is calculated

The 2021 COLA is based on the 1.28% average increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) measured from February 2020 to February 2021 for the Los Angeles and San Francisco metropolitan areas.

The UCRP COLA formula generally matches the annual increase in the CPI up to 2%. This year, most benefit recipients will receive a COLA that is larger than the 1.28% increase in the CPI. The larger COLA helps those UCRP benefit recipients retain more of their purchasing power by partially making up for earlier years of inflation than 2% that were not matched by the UCRP COLA. 

Adjustment to HAPC for inactive UCRP members (“Inactive COLA”)

When inactive UCRP members retire or request a lump sum benefit payment, their benefit is calculated based on the Highest Average Plan Compensation (HAPC) as of their separation date. For inactive members who retire with 1976 Tier service credit or who were Safety or Tier Two Members, their HAPC is increased by the lesser of 2% or the actual increase in the CPI, compounded annually, from the separation date to the date the inactive UCRP member retires or requests a lump sum benefit payment.

July 1, 2021, inactive COLA rate by separation date
Separation Date Inactive COLA
On or before June 29, 2020  2.00%
June 30, 2020, up to and including June 29, 2021 1.28%

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