Today, NTEU-endorsed legislation was reintroduced to standardize the annual increase in annuity payments that retired federal employees receive across retirement systems.
The Equal COLA Act, introduced by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), would ensure that retirees in the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) both receive the same annual percentage cost of living (COLA) increase each year.
Under existing law, the CSRS annual annuity increase is equal to the annual change in the third quarter consumer price index for workers, but the calculation for FERS annuitants is different. If CSRS retirees receive an increase of under 2 percent, FERS retirees receive the full COLA. If the adjustment is between 2 and 3 percent, FERS enrollees would only receive a 2 percent increase.
For example, CSRS annuitants this year received an 8.7 percent COLA while the adjustment for FERS was 7.7 percent. The Equal COLA Act changes the formula by tying both systems to the CPI-W, ensuring parity.
NTEU has supported previous versions of this legislation and will continue to advocate for its passage in the 118th Congress.