An AFGE-backed (American Federation of Government Employees) bill has been introduced in the House to protect federal retirees’ retirement income through standardizing the cost-of-living adjustment.
AFGE is made up of over 281,000 workers in almost every agency of the federal and D.C. governments, spread across 936 local unions.
Their members include nurses, correctional officers, doctors, Social Security professionals, TSA agents, law enforcement officers, park rangers, and many more federal employees. While they represent almost every type of federal employee, the agencies with the highest memberships are the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security.
Currently, there has been a poorly balanced difference between the COLA received by federal retirees under the old retirement system – the Civil Service Retirement System – and the new system – the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS), which covers employees hired after 1983.
CSRS retirees receive a COLA equal to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). But FERS retirees’ COLA is capped at 2% if the CPI-W is between 2-3%. FERS retirees also receive 1 full percentage point less if the CPI-W is more than 3%.
H.R. 866, introduced by Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., would make the COLA for both CSRS and FERS equivalent to CPI-W. The Equal COLA Act currently has 13 co-sponsors.
“This two-tiered system fails to protect FERS retirees who are living on a fixed income,” Connolly said. “This legislation will rectify this unfair system and ensure these dedicated public servants are protected throughout their retirement.”
AFGE proudly represents 750,000 federal and D.C. government workers across the United States and the rest of the world. Members of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) can be found in practically every federal agency and every function of government.
In order to learn more about changes in the federal workforce and follow this bill, or to receive TSP fund recommendations from our trained and licensed team, become a member at Federal Benefits Service today.