The cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for both Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) benefits will be 1.5 percent in 2014, based on the Oct. 30 release of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September.
Although the release of the September CPI was delayed by the 16-day federal government shut-down, the COLA will take effect on time and will be included in January 2014 annuity payments.
The 2014 COLA is based on the increase in the average CPI between the 3rd quarter of 2012 and the 3rd quarter of 2013.
Since the CPI did not increase by more than 2 percent, COLAs for both CSRS and FERS benefits will be the same in 2014.
Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) are applicable only in cases where death or disability occurred more than one year prior to the adjustment’s effective date.
Based on the Nov. 20 release of the October 2013 Consumer Price Index (CPI), the projected accumulation toward the 2014 FECA COLA is 1.7 percent.
The COLA will be based on the increase in the CPI between December 2012 and December 2013, and it will become effective on March 1, 2014.
Long-term care insurance
Letter carriers or retired carriers can apply for coverage under the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program at any time. You do not have to wait until the next Open Season, but you must submit a "full underwriting" application. "Full underwriting" means that applicants will have to answer numerous health-related questions. It may also include a review of medical records and possibly an interview with a nurse. OPM has stated that this is the same level of underwriting that those who purchase individual policies in the private market undergo.
Letter carriers may obtain additional information about any aspect of the Long-Term Care Program by calling 800-582-3337 or visiting the LTC web site at www.LTCFEDS.com.
You can also download application forms or apply on line at that website.