NARFE Disappointed With Senate's Rejection Of $250 Payment To Retirees - ATC - Aviation Information

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NARFE Disappointed With Senate's Rejection Of $250 Payment To Retirees

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March 7, 2010

National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) President Margaret L. Baptiste said Thursday that her organization is disappointed that the Senate sidetracked an amendment by Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT), that would have provided a one-time $250 payment to most older Americans.

Sanders and Sens. Christopher Dodd, D-CT, Patrick Leahy, D-VT, Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ, and Mark Begich, D-AK, tried to attach the amendment to H.R. 4213, a bill to extend unemployment compensation, renew several expiring tax breaks, help states with skyrocketing Medicaid costs and prevent doctors from having to absorb cuts in Medicare reimbursements. The 47-50 vote that killed the Sanders amendment was on a procedural motion on whether the Senate would consider as "emergency spending" the $12.7 billion price of the $250 payment.

"While all older Americans are trying to make ends meet in a tough economy and in a year with no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), federal annuitants are particularly burdened by 12-15-percent increases in their health insurance premiums and a 25 percent hike in Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program premiums," said Baptiste.

"What's more, federal, state and local government retirees who are not eligible for Social Security benefits have been particularly hard hit this year because they have shouldered a 14-percent increase in their Medicare Part B premiums while most Social Security beneficiaries were protected from the rate hike."

The lack of a COLA is being felt by millions of people because the annual calculation affects the income of 47.8 million Social Security beneficiaries, 4.1 million military and federal civil service retirees as well as survivors, veterans, railroad retirees and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries.

The payment under the Sanders amendment is identical to the $250 payment provided to older Americans who received Social Security, Veterans', Railroad Retirement, and Supplemental Security Income in 2009 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). In addition, the Sanders amendment, like ARRA, would have offered a refundable $250 tax credit in 2010 to over 1 million federal, state and local government retirees who are not eligible to receive Social Security benefits.

These public-sector employees who did not contribute to Social Security instead contributed to a public pension fund that partially operates as their social insurance. While some retired public employees are eligible for Social Security benefits through other Social Security-covered employment or through marriage, many of them remain ineligible for any Social Security benefits.

Posted with permission from: MyFederalRetirement.com



NARFE Disappointed With Senate's Rejection Of $250 Payment To Retirees
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