NARFE - Chapter 97
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COLA UPDATE: Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) annuities and Social Security benefits will increase through a 5.9 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2022. Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) annuities will receive a 4.9 percent COLA. Both COLAs will be reflected in January 2022 payments.

 Each year’s COLA is determined by comparing the change in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) from year to year, based on the average of the third-quarter months of July, August, and September.

 The September CPI-W was 269.086. Combined with the CPI-W for July (267.789) and August (268.387), the 2021 third-quarter average is 268.421, 5.9 percent greater than the average CPI-W for the third quarter of 2020, which was 253.412. 

 Under current law, COLAs for FERS retirees are unfairly reduced and fail to protect fully earned annuities from the eroding effects of inflation. If the annual CPI-W increase is 3 percent or more, FERS COLAs are reduced by 1 percent. If the CPI-W increase is between 2 percent and 3 percent, FERS enrollees only receive a 2 percent COLA. When the CPI-W increase is under 2 percent, the COLA matches the price index increase.

NARFE supports the Equal COLA Act, H.R. 304, which would provide FERS annuitants with a full OLA, equal to the change in consumer prices, regardless of the percentage, as provided to CSRS annuitants and Social Security beneficiaries.?

 NARFE continues to support strong COLAs based on fair assessments of increases in consumer prices to protect the value of federal annuities from inflation.

 Members can call the Advocacy Hotline at (800) 456-8410 (option 5) or call legislator’s offices. Congressman Barr can be reached M-F at his office, 2709 Old Rosebud Rd, Lexington, KY. 40509, (859) 219-1366. Senator McConnell’s Lexington office is at 771 Corporate Dr., Suite 108, 40503, (859) 224-8286.

Senator Paul’s office is at 1029 State St., Bowling Green, KY. 42101, (270) 782- 8303

Paula Bayer.