Thursday, January 6, 2011
No Cost Of Living Adjustment for Federal Retirees
I just sent the following memo to Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) regarding the lack of a cost of living adjustment for Federal retirees for the second year in a row. Nothing will happen because I don't contribute mega dollars to his re-election campaign. However given that he's a Democrat he might at least give it some lip service.
Dear Senator Nelson
I am a Federal retiree having spent my entire 31 year career with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. I retired in Washington DC in late February 2008 and moved the next day to Florida. I have been living on my Federal annuity ever since.
Federal law dictates that Federal retirees are to receive cost of living adjustments that are commensurate with the current rate of inflation. During 2009 and 2010 the national inflation rate was flat and accordingly we received no cost of living adjustment.
That flat rate did not take into account increases in our health insurance premiums (mine has gone up each year), rising costs of rent and food, the sky-rocketing cost of gasoline (it was $2.50 a gallon in Sarasota in October and is $3.16 a gallon today), the rising cost of cable television and internet connectivity (Comcast) or even the rising cost of a bottle of beer.
All of that has occurred yet Federal retirees have received no increase in our annuity despite those obvious and documentable increases in costs.
At the same Federal retirees have not received a penny in annuity cost adjustments the Congress of the United States saw fit to pass legislation giving the top two percent of salary earners in the country more tax breaks. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett and Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL) do not need more money in their bank accounts. I do and so do millions of other Federal retirees.
The President made a huge deal out of his agreement with the Republicans that gave Warren Buffett more millions of dollars this year. He failed to mention that the new tax law has ZERO benefit in it for Federal retirees living on an annuity.
I feel like I have been hosed while Warren Buffett dines on caviar from his new tax breaks.
What do you propose should be done to fix this horrific inequity toward Federal retirees? Retirement is a growth industry in this state so you more than most Senators should be keenly aware of the effects of actions on retirees. Its bad enough that active Federal employees have to deal with no salary increase this year. At least they can still get step increases if they are eligible. Federal retirees don't have that luxury.
Should you decide to write back on this issue I would appreciate a letter telling me how you feel and what you plan to do about this inequity. I do not want to receive a form letter prepared by one of your interns or a Legislative Aide.