COLA for retirees is most likely going to exceed the pay increases of employees that are actively working in the coming January of 2019. Some employees that are eligible for retirement are considering early retirement as they are hoping to benefit from the former rather than the latter.
The CSRS COLA percent is 2.8, and FERS COLA is 2 percent. This is for individuals that are not yet 62, with the exception of disability retirees, retired law enforcement officers, and firefighter or air traffic controllers that are eligible for COLAs. FERS survivor benefits from COLAs payments regardless of their age.
For every month that an individual was not on the retirement roll, their COLAs are lowered by 8.3 percent. Even after going through early retirement, a person that is still employed will get a small part of the upcoming COLA.
An individual is on the retirement roll under FERS the month following their retirement regardless of the day of the month of their retirement. In CSRS, a person will be on the retirement roll at the month of retirement even if they retire few days after the month started, which makes them appear on the roll in the following month. It means that to receive full payment in January, a person who is required to have retired under CSRS should have done it no later than December 3, 2017. For those retiring under FERS, they are eligible for a COLA if they retired no later than November 31, 2017.
Benefits of social security are raised in full COLA no matter how long an individual has been withdrawing their benefits.