Bill would provide payment to replace COLA

A group of 19 senators introduced a bill last week that would provide an emergency payment to seniors, veterans and others affected by the lack of a cost-of-living adjustment in 2016.

The lack of a COLA means that Social Security payments and certain other benefits will remain unchanged next year.

The Seniors and Veterans Emergency (SAVE) Benefits Act would give about 70 million seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, and others an emergency payment equal to 3.9 percent of the average annual Social Security benefit, about $581. According to the sponsors, 3.9 percent is the same percentage by which compensation of CEOs at the top 350 firms increased last year.

The legislation would pay for the emergency payment by closing a tax loophole that lets corporations write off executive bonuses as a business expense for performance pay.

According to the senators, the $581 increase could cover about three months of groceries for seniors, or a year's worth of out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for an average Medicare beneficiary.

"If we do nothing, on Jan. 1, more than 70 million seniors, veterans, and other Americans won't get an extra dime in much-needed Social Security and other benefits,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). “And while Congress sits on its hands and pretends that there's nothing we can do, taxpayers will keep right on subsidizing billions of dollars' worth of bonuses for highly paid CEOs."

The sponsors include 18 Democrats and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (Vt.), an independent who caucuses with Democrats.

Reader comments

Sun, Nov 15, 2015

All people, especially seniors of being left behind when it comes to the legal tender. I get $782 per month SS. Try living on that in Ca.

Thu, Nov 12, 2015

Hum... I wonder if any of those who commented even read the entire bill.

Thu, Nov 12, 2015

Many seniors are still working Fed Employees, and have gotten nothing in the past 4 years. What about us? We cannot afford to retire, have older, ill spouses to support and pay med costs. We are always on the short end and forgotten.

Thu, Nov 12, 2015

Where are CSRS retirees in this bill??? Will CSRS retirees receive anything in this bill? CSRS have been hit hard by increases in Medicare B premiums and FEHP premiums..appears CSRS retirees were NOT included in this bill!!

Wed, Nov 11, 2015

The last comment is obviously from a healthy non-senior, conservative Republican that gets a raise in 2016. Let's cancel his raise, send him/her to a hospital for some operation and make him pay for the CEO's 3.9% raise.

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