Benefits

Bill Would Restore Military Pension Reductions

By Kevin McGuinness editors@plansponsor.com | January 03, 2014

January 3, 2014 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A bill has been submitted in the U.S. House of Representatives that would restore cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) reductions slated for military pensions.

The COLA reductions of one percentage point, scheduled to take effect in 2015, are part of the recently approved Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. The planned reductions have already garnered a negative response from veterans (see “Veterans Voice Pension Concerns”).

In response to this feedback from veterans, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced that its chairman, Darrell Issa (R-California), has introduced a bill (H.R. 3801) to repeal the reductions. Issa explains that the bill would still achieve cost savings in other areas, namely through a modified delivery schedule for the U.S. Postal Service. This alternative, says Issa, will be an improvement over the $6.2 billion in savings over 10 years that would be achieved by the military COLA reductions.

“This legislation will restore cost-of-living adjustments for our military retirees and not only replace the savings but nearly triple them—saving $17 billion over 10 years, according to conservative U.S. Postal Service estimates,” says Issa.

Issa is not the only lawmaker to submit legislation in support of veteran pensioners, according to a news report from The Washington Post. Several other legislators have also proposed bills to restore the COLA reductions to military pensions, including Representative Rodney Davis (R-Illinois), Representative Michael G. Fitzpatrick (R-Pennsylvania), Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), Representative Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Representative Julia Brownley (D-California).

The full text of Issa’s bill (H.R. 3801) can be downloaded here.