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communipaw  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, December 17, 2008 9:18:36 PM(UTC)

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Page 10 of the January 2009 issue of the NARFE magazine has an interesting/disturbing article on: "If civil service retirement is sound, why are we at risk of being cut?"

[The article is apparently only in the magazine not on the website www.narfe.org ]
freeageless  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, December 17, 2008 11:17:30 PM(UTC)
freeageless

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That same article also states there were periods in the early 1980's and early 1990's when civil service retirees pay was either cut or remained the same while social security recipients pay was increased during that same period. Does anyone know if that is true? I thought that under the CSRS retirement our retirement pay increase was and is automatically what the increase for social security is. I question the accuracy of that NARFE article. Does anyone know the answer?
postalwiz  
#3 Posted : Thursday, December 18, 2008 6:03:59 AM(UTC)

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1986 was suspended by law; in a couple of other
years the % was decreased or just a certain
amount of cash paid; it also appears that cola's was paid at a different time of the year rather
than in December. Go into the OPM Web-Site in
the subject matter just type COLA's there are
several articles on COLA's but one of them
gives you the amount and % back to the 1970's.
LSA  
#4 Posted : Thursday, December 18, 2008 6:13:38 AM(UTC)

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I believe the COLAS are calculated the same way for the Social Security Benefit & the CSRS (or FERS Annuities) i.e. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI-W methodology.

SS = CPI-W COLA
CSRS = CPI-W COLA
FERS = CPI-W COLA minus 1 (Diet COLA)

However from there I believe the COLAS go their merry ways and their actual implementation is subject to the two separate government agencies mentioned above in the title that issue the checks ($s). The Executive Branch head (President Obama) has the final say I believe. In most cases through the years the COLAS have been the same. The two exceptions are mentioned in the NARFE article. The government can and does do whatever it wants by passing laws (as in the exceptions).

With the bailouts of what looks like so far of $1,000,000,000,000 the Federal Government will be looking anywhere to save money. Everything and anything will be under severe scrutiny whether it will mean anything or not to help with the $1,000,000,000,000. It will definately be a political windfall to the politicians if the average citizen sees that the politicians are cutting or eliminating their own COLAS (and ours) to commiserate (unemployment) with them.

[This message was edited by LSA on December 18, 2008 at 05:26 PM.]
postalwiz  
#5 Posted : Thursday, December 18, 2008 9:11:39 AM(UTC)

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I agree LSA when it was suspended it was done
by the Reagan Administration and of course the
Senate and by law. When I used to do retirement
counseling I always told those that retired what
Congress gives you they can always take away and
with the deficit the way it is who is to know
what they are planning to do. COLA's formula
for CSRS is same as for SS; formula for FERS
different but as I see it, Congress will not
touch SS recipients but they have always had
fun touching those in the Federal Sector even thou I am grateful for my retirement annuity.
Retiree711  
#6 Posted : Friday, December 19, 2008 12:09:20 AM(UTC)

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I dont see them cutting our retire benefit, but it is a possibility that they do the c.o.l.a. dance , delaying it or giving a lesser amount than the rise in cost of living , I say its a plus that we have a Democrat President , and Congress, , They cut a lot of fat in other areas , we can only hope.
darster  
#7 Posted : Friday, December 19, 2008 7:49:26 AM(UTC)

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With deflation now taking hold, there would be no justification for any COLA next year.
Retiree711  
#8 Posted : Friday, December 19, 2008 11:48:06 PM(UTC)

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Yes this is true , it looks like c.o.l.a will be almost nothing with prices and wages falling, but the point made was that they will cut our retiree pay, to do that they would have to do an entire redo on fed. retire benefits through legislation they have so much on there plate now it is un -likely.
darster  
#9 Posted : Saturday, December 20, 2008 8:54:56 AM(UTC)

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quote:
Originally posted by Retiree711:
Yes this is true , it looks like c.o.l.a will be almost nothing with prices and wages falling, but the point made was that they will cut our retiree pay, to do that they would have to do an entire redo on fed. retire benefits through legislation they have so much on there plate now it is un -likely.

I agree. I highly doubt they will lower retiree pay ever. It's such a small drop in the bucket. Plus it also ties in with Congressional retiree pay. Congress will never cut their own retirement. Just look at what congress has not done in the last 25 years. They have never voted on the windfall tax, never have been able to reform the GS pay system, never have been able follow through on a balanced budget amendment, and so on and so on. Most Americans are not even concerned about federal pay or retirement benefits. They have their own lives to live and it's just not a priority in anyone's life.
punktlich1  
#10 Posted : Sunday, December 21, 2008 1:49:55 AM(UTC)

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For the record, here's the relevant court decision: NARFE v. Horner, 633 F.Supp. 511 (D.D.C. 1986) (aff'd, 479 U.S. 878 (1986))
http://tinyurl.com/9mbarh
Held: (1) suspension of cost of living adjustment payments did not take retired federal employees' private property in violation of the Fifth Amendment, even as to amounts that had "accrued” by accounting formula calculation prior to enactments suspending such payments, and (2) statute providing for cost of living adjustments did not establish a property right in a scheduled adjustment.
darster  
#11 Posted : Monday, December 22, 2008 4:53:54 PM(UTC)

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From NARFE

On December 16th, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov/cpi or 202/691-6994) reported November's CPI-W is 207.296, a decrease of 2.3 percent from October's 212.182. November's index is 3.8 percent lower than the 2008 third quarter average base index of 215.5. Lest anyone fear a possible decrease in their annuity as the result of a negative COLA, members should know that the law DOES NOT provide a reduction in benefits in the event of deflation over the fiscal year measuring period ending in September 2009.
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