VFW Urges Rejection of Military Retiree COLA Penalty

Almost 2 million members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and its Auxiliaries are being urged to immediately contact their members of Congress to reject a proposal that would severely penalize working age military retirees.  

The proposal, introduced by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and his counterpart in the Senate, Patty Murray (D-Wash.), would automatically subtract a full percentage point from annual cost of living adjustment increases through age 62.  Had such a penalty been in effect today, the current 1.5-percent COLA would have been 0.5 percent for military retirees only, and the cumulative impact through age 62 would result in the loss of tens of thousands of dollars for every retiree of every rank.

“We know the federal government needs to curb its spending, balance its budget, and put an end to the sequester,” said VFW National Commander William A. Thien, “but this proposal needs to be buried.”

Thien said the troops and commanders he speaks with around the country and overseas are of one voice against proposals to change their pay and allowances, the existing military retirement system, and the overall TRICARE health program. 

“They see it as a breach of faith and complete lack of support, understanding and appreciation for what it is they do daily for the rest of America,” he said, “and I have promised to use my position as national commander of the nation’s oldest and largest major combat veterans’ organization to help defeat any and all measures that would have those who serve and sacrifice the most to sacrifice even more. 

The VFW national commander is now urging all his members and supporters to help defeat this proposal by contacting their House and Senate delegations by clicking here or logging on to http://capwiz.com/vfw/issues/alert/?alertid=63026806&queueid=10042843021.