Still Fighting for Justice: Congress is in Session

Nancy Olumekor

November 7, 2022

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Retirees and postal workers, we can still do the work to protect our federal pensions, benefits, and the U.S. Postal Service. It is not too late to let Congress know that we expect them to protect our hard-earned benefits, such as our federal pensions: Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), Social Security, Medicare, health insurance and life insurance, and we expect them to protect and preserve the Postal Service by supporting and passing legislation to accomplish these goals.

Now is the time for the Social Security Fairness Act to become law. The legislation is H.R. 82 in the House and S.1302 in the Senate.

Start by calling Congress at: (844) 402-1001 and continue to write letters, postcards, and emails. Millions of federal, local, and state retirees are still waiting for Congress to pass legislation to repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) in order to provide us with a fair return on our investment in the Social Security system. These retirees have worked and contributed to the Social Security system at the same rate as other non-CSRS retirees have contributed to Social Security, yet CSRS and state retirees are denied an equitable benefit for their contributions into Social Security. We need to insist that Congress pass H.R. 82 in the House and S.1302 in the Senate during this current session.

COLA Increase for Retirees

The 2023 federal retiree Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA) will be 8.7 percent for CSRS annuitants and 7.7 percent for FERS annuitants. The COLA for those receiving Social Security benefits will be 8.7 percent. Congress must also pass H.R. 304 and S.4221-the Equal COLA Act in order to “achieve parity between the cost-of-living adjustment with respect to an annuity under the Federal Employees Retirement System and an annuity under the Civil Service Retirement System.”

According to Benefits Ben of, the Equal COLA Act will amend a 1986 law that gives FERS retirees less of a COLA than CSRS retirees to give both types of federal retirees the same COLA. Based on the current rules, if inflation is over 3 percent, FERS retirees get a COLA equal to the CPI-W rate minus 1 percent. If the inflation rate is between 2 percent and 3 percent, FERS gets a flat 2 percent COLA increase. When inflation is less than 2 percent, both FERS and CSRS retirees get a COLA equal to inflation – like in 2021 when inflation was 1.3 percent. CSRS and FERS retirees got a COLA of 1.3 percent.

Going Forward! Retirement Planning on ZOOM

The Retirees Department will continue to provide Retirement Planning seminars on Zoom at least three times each year. On Nov. 20, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. EST we will host a Retirement Planning Seminar on Zoom. Detail information is available on the APWU Events page.

Thank You!

Thank you to our veterans and all the active military personnel for their service on behalf of all of us. Thank you for continuing to support me in the true spirit of unionism by re-electing me. It is an honor and a privilege to serve the membership of the APWU. I extend special thanks to those of you who offered words of encouragement of any kind to me; I cannot do this work without your support!

I am mindful of all of the APWU friends, families and loved ones who died this year. The great unionists who built this union: without their great work we would not be here.

I wish each of you happy holidays, merry Christmas, good health and happiness in the New Year.

Solidarity Forever.

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