Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Equal COLA Act to equalize COLA’s for fed retirees

Today, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), the Vice Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform (OGR) Committee, introduced the Equal COLA Act (H.R. 7165).

At present, when the Social Security Administration (SSA) announces a cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) below two percent, retirees who participate in the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) and the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) receive the same amount. When the SSA announces a COLA between two to three percent, however, FERS retirees are capped at two percent while CSRS retirees are not capped and receive the announced amount. Starting in January, for instance, CSRS retirees will receive a 2.8 percent COLA while FERS retirees will remain capped.

This bill would amend federal law in order for all federal retirees, CSRS and FERS alike, to receive the same cost-of-living-adjustment each year, as calculated currently for CSRS.

“Over time, we now realize that this two-tiered system fails to protect FERS retirees who are living on a fixed income,” Rep. Connolly said. “This legislation will rectify this unfair system and ensure these dedicated public servants are protected throughout their retirement.”

NALC will continue to monitor the Equal COLA Act progression in the 115th Congress and its likely reintroduction in the 116th Congress, which begins in January 2019.

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