Q: Why do current federal employees not get the same raise as retired federal employees? I think this is unfair.
A: Current federal employees do not receive a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA), only the pay raise. The COLA is for federal retirees and Social Security recipients.
Each one is calculated differently. The COLA is automatic, whereas the pay raise is determined through a political process. In some years the COLA is higher; in others the pay raise is higher.
This year, it appears that the COLA is going to be slightly higher than the final pay raise proposed for current federal employees. Federal retirees are getting a 2% COLA in 2018, and the President has proposed an overall average 1.9% raise for current federal workers. As of this writing, that figure is still moving forward and looking more likely to become the final figure.
Some lawmakers think the pay raise is unfair as well, but with a different basis for comparison. They want to see current federal employees get a higher raise to match what is proposed for the military. A 2.4% raise has been proposed for the military versus the average 1.9% raise for current federal employees.
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