Today, the Department of Defense announced annual cost of living adjustments that will benefit military retirees and survivors during calendar year 2019. Most military retirees will receive a 2.8 percent increase to their retired pay beginning with the pay they receive on Jan. 1, 2019. Likewise, survivors of members who died on active or inactive duty, or survivors of military retirees who participate in the Survivor Benefit Plan, will, in most cases, see a 2.8 percent increase to their annuities beginning in January.
Beginning in 2019, survivors who are eligible for the Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA) will also receive an increase to their SSIA payments that reflects this 2.8 percent adjustment. The maximum amount of SSIA payable will be $318 beginning in January.
These cost of living adjustments are 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 2018 (July, August, and September 2018), and generally go into effect for all pay received beginning in January 2019.
Those military retirees who retired during calendar year 2018, and all military retirees who retired under the REDUX retirement system, receive a slightly different annual cost of living adjustment. The complete list of updates to military retired and retainer pay, and survivor annuities, allowances and premiums can be found at https://militarypay.defense.gov/Pay/Retirement/Cola.aspx.