Senate OKs bill restoring military pension COLA cuts

Feb. 12, 2014 at 4:35 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate Wednesday approved a House-passed bill to restore cuts in pensions for younger military retirees that had been part of a bipartisan budget deal.

The final vote was 95-3.

The budget agreement -- reached by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash. -- sliced the annual cost-of-living adjustment for working-age military retirees under age 62 and with at least 20 years of service by 1 percentage point below the rate of inflation.

The bill headed to the White House restores pension levels only for those already in the military. Cost of living increases for new service members will still be held at below the rate of inflation when they retire.

Senate Democrats had insisted the cost of restoring full pension raises not be offset with cuts in other spending but the final bill offsets the cost by extending spending cuts in other areas already approved by Congress, Roll Call reported.

Ryan said Congress was avoiding difficult budget choices with the vote to restore the pension increases, Roll Call reported.

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