Bill Would Create Special Seniors CPI Measure

March 16, 2011 ( – A retirement trade group on Wednesday endorsed the CPI for Seniors Act (HR 1086), which would replace the current Consumer Price Index (CPI) with a measure deemed a more accurate assessment of inflation’s impact on seniors.

The bill was sponsored by U.S. Representative John Duncan, Jr. ( R-Tennessee) along with seven co-sponsors.

According to a news release from Duncan’s office, the bill directs The Bureau of Labor Statistics to develop a consumer price index (CPI) that accurately reflects the expenses that seniors incur and report that CPI monthly to the Congress. The first report would come six months after this bill is enacted. The inflation measure is used to determine cost of living adjustments.

“We currently do not have a CPI that reflects seniors’ expenses,” Duncan said in the news release. “Obviously, seniors have different costs than an individual who is twenty-one.  For instance, they are going to spend a lot more of their income on health care than a younger individual.” 

Duncan said in the news release that lawmakers need to have the new data before making policy judgments about other seniors matters. “We need all the information on these issues before we make these changes, and I believe this legislation is an important step in making sure we have this information,“ he said.