Aug 20, 2015

COLA/Pay Raise Update

COLA Increase in 2016 Appears Less Likely - It now appears increasingly less likely that there will be a COLA increase for federal retirees in January 2016. The reason is because the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) is about the same in July as it was in June.

The CPI-W is the index used for measuring increases in the prices that are used to determine how much the COLA increase will be, if any, in January 2016.

As determined by the relevant data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (CPI-W) in October 2014, federal retirees received a 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to their civil service annuities beginning in January 2015. Social Security benefits and military retirement annuities increased by the same amount.

2016 Pay Raise One Step Closer to Becoming A Reality - A pay raise for 2016 is wending its way through the annual budget process (the budget process occurs in most years anyway) in Congress.

In the latest iteration, the Senate Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee has approved its fiscal 2016 spending bill.

Perhaps of most importance to many readers, the bill does not address the federal employee pay raise for 2016. And, in the perverse logic that sometimes accompanies these events, this is probably good news for most federal employees.

By not addressing the subject, the president’s recommendation of a 1.3% annual pay raise is more likely. The bill does address the pay issue for the Vice President and senior political appointees by denying them any raise. This bill that has just been approved by the subcommittee is normally where changes or provisions for a pay raise in the coming year would be addressed by the Senate.
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It now appears increasingly less likely that there will be a COLA increase for federal retirees in January 2016
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