AFGE plans to fight chained-CPI

American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox says the government shutdown is only the most recent setback for federal employees.

[Cox] Three years of a pay freeze, A 2.3 percent increase in mandatory retirement contributions for new employees, and summer furloughs due to sequestration. On top of all that, 16 days of a government lockout shutdown with more than a million locked out for at least some time of that period.

AFGE represents more than 670,000 federal workers and mobilized dozens of rallies during the recently ended shutdown calling attention to how it was impacting families. Cox said now that the government is up and running his members remain mobilized. The union is concerned with remarks made by President Barack Obama suggesting a potential return to discussions around tying Social Security increases to a “chained Consumer Price Index.”

 

[Cox2] And no federal retiree, no middle class American who retires on social security can afford that.

A recent report from the Social Security Administration suggests that a chained CPI would reduce Social Security benefits by 30 percent for the bottom 60 percent and 4 percent for the top 40 percent.  Currently Social Security increases are tied to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers and adjusts based on how workers are impacted overall by inflation. The current measure has also been criticized as it doesn’t account for the increasing cost of living for senior citizens.

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