Railroad retirement annuities will not increase in January 2011 as there was no increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the third quarter of last year to the corresponding period this year.
Because there is no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), social security law prohibits an increase in the amounts social security and railroad retirement beneficiaries subject to earnings restrictions can earn in 2011 without having their benefits reduced.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recently said she will schedule a vote in November on a plan to give an extra $250 to retirees who will not receive a cost-of-living increase in their benefit checks next year.
Gary Faley, legislative director of the National Association of Retired and Veteran Railways Employees, an association that advocates for the nation’s 600,000 retired railroad workers, immediately sent out an alert asking members to phone a toll-free number and urge their congressional representatives to support the bill.
“My members will let them know we are out there watching them,” said Faley.
It will be the second year in a row that benefits have not risen. The consecutive years without an increase are unprecedented since the mid-1970s, when the government began to adjust such payments automatically, based on the inflation rate.
Click here to read the release from the RRB.
Click here to read the story from the Washington Post.