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Pay Raise Parity with Annuitants

 

FLEOA asks President for Pay Raise Parity with Annuitants


November 1, 2021

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden Jr.
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
        
Dear Mr. President,

Recently, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that a 5.9 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security beneficiaries will be implemented in January 2022 and a 4.9 percent increase will be enacted for federal retirees under the FERS system. These are some of the largest COLA increases beneficiaries have seen since the 1980s and it is directly due to the historic rise in prices for all consumer goods due to the recent burst of inflation. 

The inflation increase is based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which tracks both the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) and the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). Accordingly, BLS reported that the CPI-W rose 5.8 percent over the 12 months ending in August. COLAs for the past 10 years have averaged 1.7 percent, with increases ranging from zero in 2015 to 3.6 percent in 2011. The most recent year beneficiaries received a COLA of more than 5 percent was in 2008, when there was 5.8 percent increase.

While the historic rise in inflation has an impact on Social Security beneficiaries, it also surely has one on the active federal law enforcement officers working every day to serve and protect our nation. Those federal law enforcement officers, who are often one-income households and tend to live in high priced areas of our nation, are also feeling the sting of inflation that is stretching and stressing their resources. This is a dangerous dynamic to put our federal law enforcement officers and their families in.  

For the same reasons Social Security beneficiaries are being given a historic increase, we ask that when the Administration look at pay increases for federal law enforcement officers via the Federal Pay Agent, our increases mirror the levels being enacted by SSA. This type of parity will help ensure the defenders of our nation aren’t being placed in untenable financial positions and forced, in some cases, to rely on food stamps and public assistance to be able to live where they work.

We would also ask that the Administration work with Congress to address the long standing federal pay cap issue that unfairly limits federal salary levels, no matter what type of pay raise is given.  

On August 20, 2021, we sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi after she unilaterally raised the pay cap level for House staff to $200,000. We asked her to assist us with remedying the pay cap for federal law enforcement officers. We recommend that the Administration work with Speaker Pelosi and enact the same pay cap reforms for federal law enforcement officers that she put in place for House staff.  

Please let us know how we can help accomplish the goals of ensuring that federal law enforcement officers are receiving the pay that they need to live and a waiver of the federal pay cap so they can receive that pay without obstacle.  
 

Sincerely,

Larry Cosme  
National President
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association

cc:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
House OGR Committee
Senate HSGAC Committee