Fedweek

Legislation introduced in the House (HR-1251) would use an inflation index geared specifically to the spending patterns of older persons to determine annual COLAs in programs including federal retirement, Social Security and military retirement. Sponsors say that the current broad index is artificially low because it does not account for higher rates of spending by older persons for health care, for example. They say that over the last 30 years, a “CPI-E”–consumer price index for the elderly–would have yielded annual COLAs of 0.2 percentage points higher than those actually paid, on average. Also introduced recently was S-424, which would make some 30,000 law enforcement officers classified as G5-0083 eligible for the enhanced retirement benefits for federal law enforcement offices, and HR-1363, to loosen work scheduling and overtime policies for federal firefighters, allowing them to swap shifts, with approval, without forfeiting pay they otherwise would receive.