Military retirees to see largest pay increase in 40 years

Posted at 4:32 PM, Dec 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-30 18:06:23-05

HAMPTON, Va. - Most military retirees are set to receive the largest pay bump since 1982 beginning January 1, 2022.

In 2021, most retirees received a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) pay increase of 1.3 percent. In 2022, the COLA has nearly quadrupled to 5.9 percent.

“They’re headed in the right direction, but it’s long overdue. It should have happened years ago,” Army veteran Al Dixon said.

Air Force veteran Anita Herman said she plans to use the extra money on necessities like food.

“Sometimes when you go to the commissary or any grocery store and you’re on a budget, you have your budget together and all of a sudden it’s more than what your budget is,” Herman said.

The COLA is calculated based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers for the four quarters ending with the third calendar quarter of 2021 (July, August, and September 2021), and generally goes into effect for all pay received beginning in January 2022.

“Everything is going up except for income, so that’s where this additional money comes into play,” Dixon said.

According to the Department of Defense, survivors of members who died on active or inactive duty, or survivors of military retirees who participated in the Survivor Benefit Plan, will, in most cases, see a 5.9 percent increase to their annuities beginning in January.

The complete list of updates to military retired and retainer pay, and survivor annuities, allowances and premiums, can be found here.