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Social Security News

Federal Retires Most Unhappy with COLA, Face Healthcare Cost Hike of 3.8 Percent

President of National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association pleads for change in COLA calculation

Angry man points to opponentOct. 23, 2014 – Millions of seniors receiving Social Security were probably more than a little disappointed in the small 1.7 percent increase in the benefit for 2015, but retirees from the military and federal employment received the same percentage increase. The problem for the federal employees is a little worse than others due to a 3.8 percent increase in health care premiums for 2015. Medicare for other retirees will have virtually no increase in costs.

Joseph A. Beaudoin, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), released the following statement on the impact to federal civilian retirement annuities and Social Security benefits:


Related Archive Stories


Minimum Social Security COLA of Three Percent Demanded by Senior Citizens League

About $113 Missing from Social Security in 2015, Says The Senior Citizens League

Oct. 23, 2014

Social Security COLA for 2015 Will Be 1.7 Percent, Says SSA

Continues trend of very small increases over last few years - about $22 per month average increase

Oct. 22, 2014

Read more Social Security News also check Medicare and Senior Politics


"News of the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for the coming year always is eagerly awaited by the countless Americans who rely on the increase to keep up with the rising price of food, housing, transportation and medical care.

“However, despite the partial relief this 1.7 percent COLA will provide, the announcement is a reminder that our method for calculating the increasing cost of goods and services is out of sync with the reality faced by millions of federal annuitants, Social Security recipients and military retirees, who spend more than twice as much on medical care than the population measured by the current CPI-W formula.

“The average 3.8 percent increase in health care premiums for federal employees and retirees in 2015 shows that medical costs continue to outpace the COLA as it is calculated presently. We need a cost-of-living formula that doesn't force these Americans to take one step forward, then two steps back.

"As members of Congress and the President develop their budget proposals for fiscal year 2016, I urge them to include a switch to the CPI-E formula, a more accurate measure of inflation that accounts for health care and other costs facing seniors.

"Conversely, they should reject previous proposals to switch to the Chained CPI, which would only make a bad situation worse by further decreasing the hard-earned benefits of Social Security recipients and federal retirees, while increasing taxes on lower- and middle-income taxpayers.”

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), one of America’s oldest and largest associations, was founded in 1921 with the mission of protecting the earned rights and benefits of America's active and retired federal workers. The largest federal employee/retiree organization, NARFE represents the retirement interests of nearly five million current and future federal annuitants, spouses and survivors.


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