WASHINGTON (February 11, 2014) The U.S. House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to restore full cost of living increases to pension benefits for younger military retirees.
Lawmakers responded to election-year pressure from veterans groups.
The Senate is debating a similar bill, as lawmakers try to reverse course on the most controversial cut contained in budget legislation that was approved less than two months ago.
At issue is retirement income for veterans with at least 20 years of military service.
More than 800,000 of those retirees who are younger than 62 would have been affected by a provision that would hold annual cost-of-living benefits to a level one percentage point below the rate of inflation.
Critics said it would mean a reduction of nearly $72,000 in benefits over a lifetime for a sergeant first class who retires at age 42.
U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, voted in favor of the measure.
“Supporting our veterans and active duty military is our most solemn responsibility. This commonsense fix will reinstate the 1% adjustment for younger retirees, many of whom have deployed upwards of a dozen times in their careers,” he said.
“You can’t put a price tag on the sacrifices our troops and their families make each and every day. My hope is that this fix will not just restore the pay increases, but restore the morale and welfare of all who wear the uniform.”