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Cost-of-Living Adjustment

An increase to a wage, salary, or pension designed so that the real value remains the same. That is, a cost-of-living adjustment increases the underlying wage, salary, or pension so that it keeps pace with (but does not run ahead of) inflation. Federal pensions and Social Security include cost-of-living adjustments, though few other pensions do.

Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

A COLA results in a wage or benefit increase that is designed to help you keep pace with increased living costs that result from inflation.

COLAs are usually pegged to increases in the consumer price index (CPI). Federal government pensions, some state pensions, and Social Security are usually adjusted annually, but only a few private pensions provide COLAs.


(pronounced like the beverage) See cost-of-living adjustment.

References in periodicals archive ?
After taking into account the impact of calcium, vitamin D, physical activity, and other factors, they found about a 4 to 5 percent lower hip bone density in women who consumed one cola a day than in those who drank less than one cola a month.
In the past two years, The Coca-Cola Company has introduced four new products in the cola category -- Vanilla Coke (2002), Diet Vanilla Coke (2002), Diet Coke with Lemon (2001), and, most recently, Diet Coke with Lime (2004).
It is estimated that one-half of current federal pension costs are due to COLAs, and that hundreds of thousands of federal retirees actually receive more money in retirement than they did while working.
Emro previously only offered its customers Coca-Cola products, and now will have both major colas.
Designed to protect the widow's mite against the scourge of inflation, COLAs have evolved into an annual windfall for millions and millions of people who don't need them.