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Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (MERS) Retirees (not including Police and Fire)


Not all MERS employers provide a COLA to all retirees. Eligibility to receive a COLA depends on the type of COLA the member’s 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.
 
  • Retirees of the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (MERS) 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 pension and will begin in the month following the member’s date of retirement.
  • Additionally, General MERS retirees who retired before June 30, 2012 and did not receive a COLA prior to June 30, 2012, but were contributing at 7% are also eligible for the ‘4-Year’ COLA. The COLA is applied to the first $31,318 of the member’s pension benefit and will begin in the month following the member’s date of retirement.
  • General MERS retirees who retired after June 30, 2012 and were contributing at 2% 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 benefit and will begin in the month following the 3-year anniversary of the date of the member’s 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.