With just one month to go in the count toward a 2016 federal retiree COLA, it appears unlikely that a boost will be paid. The inflation index used to set that adjustment fell by 0.2 percentage points in August, leaving the count at -0.4 percent. If the count finishes in negative territory, benefits would be frozen but not reduced. A similar situation led to no COLAs being paid in 2010 or 2011 due to the low inflation following the economic downturn of the 2008-2009 period. While there remains a chance that the September figure, to be announced October 15, will edge the count into positive territory, any increase likely would be a very modest one at most.
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