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
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:
"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
"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.
National Active and
Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), one of
Americas 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.