1.5 Percent COLA for Federal Employee Retirees in 2014

Federal civilian retirees will receive a 1.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2014.  Retirees covered under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) will see the increase starting in their January 2014 payment. The COLA will also apply to tens of millions of recipients of Social Security and veterans benefits.

Despite the increase being smaller than previous years Joseph Beaudoin, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, said in a statement that the adjustment is “welcome news for countless Americans who rely on the increase to keep up with the rising price of food, housing, transportation and medical care.” With premiums for employees and retirees in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program set to rise by an average of 4.4 percent next year, the announcement is also a reminder that the method of calculating the COLA is “out of sync” with the reality faced by retirees who spend more on medical care than the U.S. population as a whole.

For the average retired worker the 1.5 percent raise equals about $19 more per month for a total monthly average income of $1,272.

No COLA was paid to retirees in 2010 and 2011. The 2012 COLA was 3.6 percent, and in 2013 retirees saw a 1.7 percent increase.



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