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Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (MERS) Police and Fire Retirees


Not all MERS public safety employers provide a COLA to all retirees. Eligibility to receive a COLA depends on the type of COLA the employer elected to provide and when that COLA went into effect. (See appendix A and B of this handout for information on employers and types of COLA provided.) Members who already receive an Annual COLA are not eligible to receive a ‘4-Year’ COLA.
 
  • Police and Fire retirees who retired before June 30, 2012 and whose Annual COLA is currently suspended are eligible for the ‘4-Year’ COLA. The COLA is applied to the first $31,318 of a member’s pension and will begin in the month following the date of retirement.
  • Police and fire retirees who retired from an employer that has elected to provide a COLA AND who retired between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2015 become eligible for the ‘4-Year’ COLA after reaching age 55 AND the three-year anniversary of the member’s retirement date. The COLA is applied to the first $31,318 of the member’s pension and will begin in the month following the date of retirement or 55th birthday, whichever is later.
  • Police and fire retirees who retired from an employer that has elected to provide COLAs AND retired after June 30, 2015 become eligible for the ‘4-Year’ COLA after reaching age 50 AND the three-year anniversary of the member’s retirement date. The COLA is applied to the first $31,318 of the member’s pension and will begin in the month following the anniversary of the member’s date of retirement or 50th birthday, whichever is later.
  • Police and fire retirees on disability pensions who retired from an employer that has elected to provide COLAs, and who retired after June 30, 2012 become eligible for the ‘4-Year’ COLA after reaching Social Security Normal Retirement Age (SSNRA) AND the three-year anniversary of the member’s retirement date. The COLA is applied to the first $31,318 of the member’s pension and will begin in the month following the member’s date of retirement or SSNRA, whichever is later.
If you have specific questions about your eligibility, please contact ERSRI at (401) 462-7600. The ERSRI Customer Service Center is open Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m


Note: This information is prepared exclusively for use by members of the Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island. It is not intended as a substitute for the Rhode Island General Laws (R.I.G.L.) nor will its interpretation prevail should a conflict arise between the contents of this summary and R.I.G.L. s. Rules governing retirement are subject to change periodically either by statute of the Rhode Island Legislature or by regulation of ERSRI.