Older Americans Seeking a Fair COLA Applaud H.R. 2154, the CPI for Seniors Act
May 30, 2013 (Washington, DC) — RetireSafe, a 400,000-supporter strong national advocacy group for older Americans, today applauded H.R. 2154, the “CPI for Seniors Act of 2013.” H.R. 2154 is a bipartisan bill, which has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressmen John “Jimmy” Duncan, Jr. (TN-2), along with Daniel Lipinski (IL-3), Phil Roe (TN-1), and Gregg Harper (MS-3). RetireSafe President Thair Phillips called the bill “a critical measure to give Social Security beneficiaries and military retirees a fair and accurate Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), based on a correct Consumer Price Index (CPI) that gauges the actual costs faced by seniors.” “The CPI for Seniors Act will finally resolve the CPI issue and give every older American the true inflation protection they were promised long ago,” Phillips added. He continued, “RetireSafe is proud to endorse the CPI for Seniors Act and to urge its passage.”
“The CPI which now determines the rate of inflation increase for seniors is the CPI-W, which is based on the costs incurred by ‘Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers,’ hardly an accurate measure of the costs faced by older Americans,” Phillips said. “Thanks to the use of the CPI-W, seniors have been shortchanged for years, causing their benefits to fall behind while their costs have continued to increase,” he noted. Phillips called recent efforts to implement a chained-CPI, “simply a backdoor method to cut benefits even more.” “It should be obvious to anyone that retirees can’t substitute necessary purchases as easily as younger, more mobile workers,” he stated. “The chained-CPI would make the flawed CPI-W being used even worse, robbing older Americans of needed benefits to fight future inflation,” Phillips added. “The CPI for Seniors Act would finally mandate a broad-based senior-specific CPI that accurately gauges the rising costs that will be faced by older Americans,” he continued.
Phillips noted, “An accurate government CPI would give seniors a fair COLA at least twice each year, allowing them to keep up with their ever-rising costs in health care, food, and energy.” “Congress must pass H.R. 2154, the CPI for Seniors Act, and give older Americans a fair Social Security COLA,” he urged. “That’s what seniors were originally promised, and that’s what they deserve,” Phillips concluded.
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