Monday, January 06, 2014

Letter to the Editor: Cost of Living increases for military retirees under 62 are gone.

 The essay reflects views and opinions not necessarily shared by the Insider staff, and is published as a courtesy to readers.

Cost of Living increases for military retirees under 62 are gone.

Where is a matching provision for former members of congress?  Will they
still get cost-of-living increases when they retire?
Where is a matching provision for federal civilian employees?  Will they
still get cost-of-living increases when they retire?

This is shameful.  The members of congress who voted for this are
self-serving hypocrites.  They know there's a problem, but they are
unwilling to share in the cuts themselves.  I, for one, am sick and tired of
the hand-wringing, ever-so-sorry-I-have-to-do-this act by the individuals
who serve in elected office.  They are very willing to have others sacrifice
in order to balance the budget.  Where is the shared sacrifice?  The
congress has set things up so that they automatically receive salary
increases, so that there's no public vote.  Congress and the President need
to start showing some leadership.  Lead by Example!  That is one of the
first principles taught to every officer and non-commissioned officer in the
military services of the United States.  There has been very little of that
when congress and the president have discussed the budget.  There has not
been a single proposal aimed at cutting salaries or pensions of elected
officials or what is spent in maintaining the congress.  Their excuse is
that 'they need to attract qualified people'.  Well, think about it!  If
congress needs to attract qualified people, doesn't the military need to do
the same?  Or, is congress suggesting that the military doesn't need
highly-trained, highly-skilled, qualified individuals to serve in uniform?
Are they suggesting that the military can make do with whatever they can
scrape up?

I could go on this rant for a long time.  This is about more than just a
cost-of-living increase.  This is about the way this president and this
congress are running this country.  The basic idea of reducing pensions for
working age individuals is actually a good idea, but, it should be across
the board.  It should start with elected officials and civilian employees,
NOT with the military.  Write to your congressman.  Tell them to quit
playing around.  If they are serious about running this country, show some
backbone and leadership.  They need to set the example by cutting their own
spending.  If they want to cut salaries, start with their own.  Once they do
that, I'll be willing to start sharing in the sacrifice and I'll start
trusting that they actually put the interest of this country ahead of

Ken McClellan, Middletown CT

Spread the word.  Send this to your friends and encourage them to write to
their elected representatives.
Find your Senator and congressman:,


  1. Mr. McClellan where do I begin with the factual errors in your piece. The COLA's for those under age 62 are not being eliminated, they are being reduced by 1 percent until the retiree reaches age 62. So instead of getting a 3 percent COLA a retiree under age 62 will get a 2 percent COLA. Federal Civilian employees hired after 1983 get the same reduced 1 percent COLA. At least research your topic or get your facts straight. The sad fact is that only 17 percent of those who fought in Iraq and Afganistan will ever serve 20 years and collect a military pension. Most who collect a pension have never seen any actual combat and many were career desk jockeys, who now at age 42 make 100K a year working for a defense contractor. This country cannot afford retired 42 year olds who never ever risked their lives to collect nice pensions and then go onto their second career. I voted for you when you ran for any office but my opinion of you has sunk with your complete fabrication of the facts.

  2. Anonymous - I don't like being wrong, but I'll blame the reporter for inaccuracy and difference between a 1% reduction and elimination. However: You missed the main point. Congress still gets their retirement. They still get automatic, annual salary increases. I don't. Congress is exempt from the Affordable Care Act. I'm not. Congress is exempt from the minimum wage law. I'm not. It's time for some leadership by example. And I'm not seeing it.
    By the way: Have courage of your convictions, sign your name.

  3. Mr. McClellan I don't think I missed your main point. Your main point was "I want mine." I believe you are retired military, this affects you. You stated a few things that were factually wrong but I give you credit for admitting it. Members of Congres elected after 1983 get the same reduced 1 percent COLA that is now 31 years later being asked of the military. Members of congress and federal civilians received no COLA for three years and this past year they received a 1 percent raise. Active and retired military all received a COLA in those three years. I say pay the troops on the ground in Afganistan 350K a year, they deserve it but I see multi-millionare retired military feeding at the Military Industrial Complex trough who have just hit age 50. As for not signing my name, do you really think I would want to do that? What good would it do? I am not the one who wrote the piece you did. You are correct in that our system is completely broken and it's only a matter of time.


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