Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Retirees Oppose Chained-CPI cuts to Veterans’ Benefits


Reading, PA—On Tuesday, November 12th the PA Alliance for Retired Americans showed our support for our nation’s Veterans by gathering in Reading at the VA clinic for an event to encourage our local Congressmen to prevent the Chained-CPI cut to Social Security and other benefits for our veterans.  This event was one of many held by Alliance chapters across the country. 

“After putting their lives on the line, the men and women who served our Country do not deserve cuts to their earned benefits,” said Wayne Burton, President of the Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans.  “Budget-cutters and deficit hawks should look elsewhere for pennies to save, instead of in our Veterans’ pockets.”

Irv Weinreich of Allentown and Dave McLimans of Parkesburg, both Vietnam-era Veterans and retiree activists, spoke at the event in downtown Reading.  Click here for a video of a portion of Irv’s remarks.  “Currently, as politicians in Washington consider their ‘Grand Bargain’ to fix the deficit, they are considering adopting the chained-CPI, a reduced cost-of-living-adjustment that would affect Social Security as well as those who receive Military Retirement pensions, Veterans Pension benefits, Veterans Disability Compensation and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation,” Weinreich said.  “Because of the number of programs that would be subject to the chained CPI, veterans would receive double, triple or more hits from the chained-CPI. 

“We must not balance the budget on the backs of disabled veterans, many who lost their limbs defending our country,” Weinreich continued.  “These heroes would be hardest hit by the chained-CPI because they receive benefits from the most programs. We must not balance the budget on the backs of American soldiers who already sacrificed for us in Iraq, Afghanistan and countless other wars, nor the widows, widowers and children who have lost their family members defending our country.”

According to Social Security Works, a Washington-based advocacy group and partner to the Alliance for Retired Americans, the average Veteran in Pennsylvania would see a Social Security benefit that is $530 lower than what it would have been at age 75, $924 lower at age 85 and $1,306 lower at age 95!  These are just one-year snapshots.  Cumulatively, a Veteran would lose $3,729 by age 75, $11,201 by age 85 and $22,550 by age 95!  And just in case these numbers don’t sound terrible egregious enough, these are calculated on a Veteran that is currently nearing retirement age.  For our younger Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, the money lost will be significantly higher, because their benefits will endure decades of cuts before they even begin to collect!  (Click here to learn more.) “This is a significant amount of money for people who live on a strict budget,” said Burton.  “The Alliance for Retired Americans will stand by our nation’s Veterans by protesting loudly about any reduction in their benefits.”

The Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans, led by President Wayne Burton of Chester County, has over 300,000 members and 149 local affiliates across the Commonwealth.  PARA’s mission is to educate seniors and the public about retiree issues, and organize seniors to advocate for their interests in Harrisburg and Washington.  To learn more, visitwww.pennretiredamericans.org

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