Senators Look to Block Budget Deal’s Cut to Military Retirement

Senators Look to Block Budget Deal’s Cut to Military Retirement

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Senators blocked a proposal to restore $6 billion in cuts to military retirees as part of the budget deal, but the issue will be back when the Senate reconvenes at the start of 2014.

The recently passed deal decreases the annual cost-of-living adjustment for working-age military retirees by 1 percent over 10 years. But the cut doesn’t begin taking effect until December 2015, and a handful of senators and outside groups are hoping that’s enough time to stop it.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., moved early to undercut the provision. He said before the budget agreement was passed that panel members would review any changes next year. A specific timeline for such a review has yet to be announced, and Levin only offered that the review would happen before the cuts start. Continue reading “Senators Look to Block Budget Deal’s Cut to Military Retirement”

Cuts for military retirees costing GOP support for budget deal

Federal Eye

Cuts for military retirees costing GOP support for budget deal

GOP lawmakers and military groups have lined up against the bipartisan budget deal making its way through Congress because of a provision that would trim pay for young military retirees.

In a joint statement last week, Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said they cannot support the legislation because it “disproportionately and unfairly targets those who have put their lives on the line to defend our country.”

The budget agreement, crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), would reduce cost-of-living adjustments for working-age military retirees by 1 percent starting in December 2015, although the existing rate would apply again once former service members reach age 62. Continue reading “Cuts for military retirees costing GOP support for budget deal”

Military retirees: You betrayed us, Congress

Military retirees: You betrayed us, Congress

By Jennifer Liberto  @CNNMoney December 12, 2013: 3:12 PM ET

 military vets
Retired military veterans are outraged that their pensions are being cut by the budget deal.
WASHINGTON (CNNMoney)

Military retirees are outraged that Congress will start voting Thursday on a budget deal that trims military pensions, calling the move “an egregious breach of faith.”

The Military Coalition, some 27 military groups, wrote to leaders in Congress and President Obama late Wednesday about their “strong objection” and “grave concern” over the budget deal.

The deal cuts pension cost of living raises by 1% for military retirees who aren’t disabled and not yet 62 years old. Cost of living hikes are automatic raises intended to keep up with inflation. Continue reading “Military retirees: You betrayed us, Congress”

Fed groups get in front of COLA calculation debate

Fed groups get in front of COLA calculation debate

 Thursday – 10/10/2013, 5:57am EDT

By Jason Miller

Any discussion of cuts to federal employee, retiree and veterans benefits out of the conversations to reopen the government, increase the debt ceiling or reduce the deficit should stop before they start, according to a variety of groups representing these constituents.

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, the Military Officers Association of America, the American Foreign Service Association and others say White House and Congressional leaders need to come with better options than moving to the chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) formula to determine future cost of living adjustments (COLA).

The White House and congressional leaders have floated the idea of using the chained CPI formula instead of the CPI-W approach, which has been in use since 1996.

The groups representing current and retired federal employees, veterans and others believe this formula would hurt seniors or people with disabilities at a time they can least afford a reduction in payments. Continue reading “Fed groups get in front of COLA calculation debate”