The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee voted yesterday to take 150,000 military retirees-turned civil servants off a roller coaster that forces them to take a pay cut every time they get a pension increase.
Last year Congress passed legislation to offset the federal civilian salary of the retirees any time they got a cost-of-living raise in retired military pay. Under that dollar-for-dollar offset, retirees who got $50 pension increases would have $50 taken permanently from their government paychecks.
Congress estimated that the pay-pension offset would save the government--and cost the military retirees--about $80 million a year.
The offset repeal is being sponsored by Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Ala.).
The next stop for it is the Senate Budget Committee. If the committee agrees, the repeal will be included in the budget reconciliation package that the Senate is working on.
Last April federal and military retirees who are older than 62 received a 3.9 percent raise. Retirees who were younger than 62 received 3.3 percent. The dollar amount of the raise was deducted from the federal civilian paychecks of military retirees. In addition to infuriating many of the retirees, it created some real search-and-deduct problems for federal agencies.
If the House approves the offset repeal as part of its budget reconciliation package, the measure will go to the president.
Meantime, Congress is moving to delay the next cost-of-living adjustment for retirees (due next June) until December 1984. That raise would be paid in January 1985, and it would mean an 18-month delay in cost-of-living adjustments for the retirees, who used to get them every six months.