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Visit Your Legislators on COLA Cut

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December 23, 2013

A two year budget deal recently approved by Congress will reduce working age retirees’ annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) by one percentage point until they reach the age of 62. 

This provision disproportionately punishes current and future military retirees by failing to grandfather existing retirees and currently serving members who plan to serve a 20-plus year career.

Servicemembers who retire at the 20 year point will feel the full negative financial impact of the provision by experiencing a near 20 percent reduction in their retired pay by the time they reach age 62. 

For example, an E-7 retiring this year with 20 years of service would see an average loss of over $3,700 per year by the time he/she reaches age 62 – overall impact: $83,000 loss by age 62.

Even though the bill includes a COLA “catch-up” clause at age 62 that recalculates the follow-on retiree’s annual pay base, the financial loss of the years between retirement and age 62 are permanently lost.

Due to the fast-track nature of this bill it's imperative that we let our legislators know how this provision breaks faith with retirees and the currently serving, and its potentially devastating impact on retention.

Legislators are home for holiday recess and will be in their states/districts meeting with constituents. This is a great opportunity for you to visit your legislators' local offices and advise them of your and MOAA's concerns on these matters.

To assist you in preparing for these meetings, we’ve developed fact sheets and talking points on issue above.

Please don’t feel like you have to be an expert on the issue. That’s why we designed the package as we have – to include a one-page fact sheet on the issue that you can print and leave with the legislators and/or their staffs.

One of the reasons MOAA has been successful on Capitol Hill is that we have members who are willing to contact their legislators and express their views on issues that are important to them. Leaders who can say “We represent _____ MOAA members in our state” help convey that they’re speaking for a substantial group of constituents.

And the grassroots support of our Council and Chapter leaders has never been as important as it is now.

You can locate legislators’ state/district offices.  

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