Retired Feds to Receive Small COLA Increase
Federal retirees, who did not receive a cost-of-living increase last year, will see a modest adjustment of 0.3 percent in 2017.
While the average premiums for Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB) participants is estimated to increase by 6.2 percent, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) is also warning that retirees in the Civil Service Retirement System could additionally see a significant increase in their Medicare Part B premiums unless Congress acts.
When the cost-of living adjustment is low or nonexistent, Social Security law provides that Medicare Part B premiums will increase slight if any increase occurs. This is because Medicare Part B premiums cannot rise more than the dollar amount of an individual’s Social Security benefit. However, for retirees who do not receive Social Security – including those in CSRS – there is no restriction.
“It is grossly unfair that those who pay their premiums from something other than Social Security must pay more in premiums,” NARFE President Richard Thissen said. “There is no reason why two people with the same income should pay different Medicare premiums based on whether the money is coming from a Social Security check or a federal annuity.”
NARFE, along with the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), is now urging Congress to address this issue.
“Prices for many items that seniors must purchase are rising faster than the overall inflation rate,” said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. “Forcing this group of retirees to shoulder such a huge cost burden will have a devastating impact on their already modest living standards.”
Posted in From the Hill