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The Supplemental Targeted Adjustment for Retirees (STAR) is a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) program designed to ease the effects of inflation for a retiree whose retirement allowance has lost more than 20 percent of its purchasing power since retirement.

Each year, the Board of Retirement (BOR) determines whether a STAR benefit is due to any LACERA retirees based on inflation experienced over their retirement years. Inflation is measured by increases in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metro area Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The CPI change from the prior year is compared to the maximum allowable cost-of-living percentage increase payable by LACERA on April 1 (3 percent for Plan A and 2 percent for Plans B, C, D and E*). In years where the change in CPI is greater than the maximum cost-of-living increase, the difference between these two percentages is accumulated annually and is called the COLA Accumulation.

The CPI percentage increased 3.24 percent for the year ending in 2018. When rounded to the nearest one-half of one percent, as prescribed by law, the difference became 3.0 percent. Since this percentage exceeds the maximum allowable cost-of-living percentage increase permitted under any LACERA retirement plan, additions were made to COLA Accumulations for the year 2019.

The accumulation of differences each year reflects how much purchasing power has been lost from a retiree's original retirement benefits. By law, the BOR may provide STAR increases after the accumulation exceeds 20 percent. The BOR also determines whether the benefit should be an ad hoc benefit (paid for one year only) or a permanent benefit (added to the base retirement allowance for the member?s life).

STAR COLA Benefits Not Applicable in 2020

At this time, all retirees (and eligible survivors) in Plans A, B, C, and D have COLA Accumulation accounts below the 20 percent threshold for providing additional STAR benefits, based on the actuary’s review and confirmation on August 2, 2019. Therefore, no current retirees or beneficiaries are entitled to additional benefits under the STAR 2020 program year.

Benefits to existing STAR participants are not affected and will continue unchanged.

You can see the percentage of COLA you have accumulated by reviewing the COLA Accumulation chart.

*Plan E members are not eligible for STAR COLA benefits.