Military retirement pay, like Social Security and other federal programs, is subject to an annual cost of living increase which is set to match the rate of inflation and helps ensure that the value of the benefit is not diminished. Under a recent budget agreement, this annual COLA will be decreased by 1% for military retirees until from the date of their retirement from military service until they reach the age of 62. At age 62, each military member’s retirement would be adjusted up to the level it would have been if their COLA had been higher by 1% every year. The reduction is scheduled to take effect at the end of 2015 unless Congress acts to halt the cut.
Rep. Vela has added his support as a cosponsor of three bills that would repeal the military retirement pay cut, including H.R. 3789 to alter the provision to ensure that the cut is not applied to military retirees who also receive veterans disability compensation through or for surviving spouses. Additionally, he is a cosponsor of H.R. 3790 to repeal the provision entirely and restore military retirement to its current formula.
“Getting our fiscal house in order is a top priority, but we cannot balance our federal budget on the backs of military families who have already given so much,” Vela said. “I will continue to support this and other efforts to ensure that the pay and benefits we provide our armed forces are commensurate with the sacrifices they make in defense of our nation.”