May 15, 2019

The Honorable John Garamendi
2368 Rayburn House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C., 20515

Dear Representative Garamendi:

On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I write to endorse your legislation, H.R. 1553, entitled the “Fair COLA for Seniors Act.”

This legislation requires the use of the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), for the purpose of determining cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for a broad array of Federal retirement programs, including Social Security.  Using the CPI-E will ensure that benefits for retirees are not diminished by rising costs in the goods and services that seniors disproportionately consume.

In addition to mandating the use of the CPI-E in determining the COLA for Social Security, this legislation also extends the use of this index to civil service retirement, military retirement, veterans’ pensions and compensation.  In so doing, the “Fair COLA for Seniors Act” uniformly protects Federal retirement programs from the harmful effects of inflation.

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare has long advocated for the adoption of the CPI-E for the purpose of determining COLAs because it is the most accurate measure of the real effect of inflation on the goods and services that are purchased by America’s seniors.  Current measures of inflation fall short in that they do not adequately take into account the rising costs incurred by retirees in consumer categories such as housing and health care.

The National Committee supports the provisions included in your bill and proudly endorses the “Fair COLA for Seniors Act.”  Your bill represents a bold step on behalf of seniors by safeguarding the future value of their Federal retirement benefits.  We look forward to working with you to enact this important legislation.

Sincerely,

Max Richtman

President and CEO