WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today issued the following statement on the Senate passage (95 to 3) of S. 25, legislation that would reverse the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) reduction for military retirees that was unfairly included in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (which Sen. Moran opposed).
“I voted against the original legislation that created the irresponsible cuts to COLA benefits because Washington should not be balancing its books on the backs of our veterans and their families,” Sen. Moran said. “This legislation will completely restore the COLA benefits to our military retirees. We must keep our promise to those who have served our nation with duty and honor.”
A provision in the budget deal required a one percent annual reduction in COLA for military retirees. Under the legislation, a Sergeant First Class in the Army who qualified for retirement at twenty years of service at age 40 – and who has most likely deployed multiple times to war – could lose approximately $72,000 between retirement and turning age 62. Additionally, 750,000 military personnel would see a decrease in pensions under the budget deal that averages around $69,000 for enlisted members and $87,000 for officers over their lifetime, according to a February Congressional Research Service report.
Yesterday, S. 25 was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives (326 to 90). It will now go to the President’s desk for his signature.