Military Advantage

Panel Aims at Retirement COLA and TFL

The blue ribbon debt reduction commission proposed the government could save $70 billion over the next ten years by targeting the civil service and military retirement programs, in addition to demanding huge increases in out-of-pocket expenses for TRICARE for Life participants.

One of the factors that the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform considered was to defer Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) for retirees until age 62. This proposal included Federal civilian and military retirees. The panels suggestion was to replace the current annual COLA increases, with a one-time catch-up adjustment at age 62 to increase the benefit to the amount that would have been payable had full COLAs been in effect all along.

The report also detailed a plan to get military retirees over 65 to use less of their TRICARE for Life benefits. Under the plan, TFL beneficiaries would be forced to pay the first $500 of costs not paid by Medicare, and half of the next $5000, out of pocket. Meaning TFL participants would pay up to $3000 more ($500 + $2500) each year.

Although the blue ribbon panel's full report was rejected by the commission last week, it is important to note that the President can incorporate this proposal in his budget request next February.

Let your elected officials know how you feel about making this change to the military retirement system.

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