Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) retirees receive the full cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for their pensions. There is a different formula for Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) retirees, but if the COLA is under 2%, they receive the full COLA as well.
Because the COLA is so low, approximately 30% of Medicare beneficiaries — people enrolling in Part B of Medicare for the first time in 2017, those who are on Medicare but are not taking Social Security benefits (such as our CSRS retirees), and those who pay a high-income premium — could see their premiums jump 22% next year. The remaining 70% of beneficiaries could see a much smaller increase.
NTEU has already alerted lawmakers to this problem. We are hopeful that Congress will at least adjust the 2017 premium problem before the 114th Congress ends in December.
I will keep you apprised of further developments.