From Chuck Weber, your Veteran Service Officer...
Vets, retirees will see a 0.3% COLA hike in 2017

Military retirees and individuals receiving veterans’ benefits will see only a 0.3 percent cost-of-living increase in their federal benefits next year, a nominal increase matching 2016’s hike.

On Tuesday, officials from the Social Security Administration announced the small raise, the third consecutive year the benefits adjustment will be under 0.5 percent. Since 2009, the cost-of-living hike has been more than 2 percent only once, when it reached 3.6 percent in 2011.

Veterans’ benefits are not automatically tied to the Social Security increase, but in July lawmakers passed legislation linking the two benefits for 2017. In the last few decades, veterans have seen their annual adjustment differ from the Social Security COLA only one time, and then only due to minor rounding differences.

The Social Security COLA is calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ periodic Consumer Price Index, a statistical estimate of the anticipated price of a variety household goods and services.

This year, officials are estimating only small increases in those costs, identical to the rise seen in expenses heading into 2016.

The Social Security, military retiree and veterans’ benefits changes affect more than 70 million Americans, about 22 percent of the country’s population.  


Source:  October 18, 2016

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