Cost of Living Adjustments
The WRS Board and Executive Director are aware that rising prices and inflation are a major difficulty for long-time retirees on a fixed income.
In 2012, the State Legislature passed a law returning the authority to grant pension cost of living adjustments (COLAs) to the Legislature and also requiring 100% funding of the plan before a COLA could be awarded from WRS funds. The Public Employee Pension Plan is moving in the direction of 100% funding through investment earnings and contribution increases. However, it will be many years before the plan meets the requirements to grant a COLA from WRS funds.
The WRS Board has advocated for legislatively funded COLAs and has provided the Legislature with a tool for estimating the cost of COLAs. WRS is not aware of any pending legislation to address this issue.
Benefits provided under the pension plans administered by the Wyoming Retirement System represent one aspect of your retirement assets and should not be expected to replace one hundred percent (100%) of your pre-retirement income. Cost-of-living and other benefit increases are not incorporated into your benefit, emphasizing the importance for you to build additional resources for retirement income, such as personal savings. However, members who select the self-funded COLA feature as a benefit option will see a guaranteed increase.
Pursuant to Wyo. Stat. 9-3-428, although you have a non-forfeitable interest in your accrued and funded benefits, the State of Wyoming is statutorily obligated only for the contributions required by the Wyoming Retirement Act.