Tuesday, December 29, 2009

With a 'Zero' Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Just Ahead for 2010, Seniors and Congressman Vow Action

PRNewswire/ -- Today RetireSafe, representing 400,000 senior citizen supporters across America, announced a "Let's Get it Right" campaign for 2010 to establish a new Consumer Price Index for Seniors (CPI-S) so that Social Security benefits can be accurately and fairly determined each year. In addition, the group announced its support for the pending introduction of new legislation by U.S. Representative John "Jimmy" Duncan, Jr. (R-TN) which would direct the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to finally determine the "right" CPI-S formula for seniors. RetireSafe, an advocacy organization for older Americans, supports this critical first step to correct the faulty formula now used by the BLS, the same one resulting in a "zero" COLA for 2010.

According to RetireSafe President Thair Phillips, "The BLS, along with numerous other credible sources, has noted that each of the present methods now used (CPI, CPI-U, CPI-W, and CPI-E) to calculate inflation is severely flawed in measuring seniors' actual costs and expenses. While there may be other approaches to address this problem, we believe the first step should be an accurate CPI for seniors, a true CPI-S. Fortunately, Congressman Duncan agrees that seniors deserve a fair and accurate annual COLA that can only be determined with a fair and accurate CPI-S. He will be introducing the 'CPI for Seniors' Act next month, and we are fully committed to help Congressman Duncan enact this important legislation."

As Congressman Duncan notes, "The annual Social Security COLA is a crucial element to maintain a decent quality of life for our seniors, both in my District in Tennessee, and across the Nation. It must be based upon an accurate CPI-S that truly reflects the real impact of inflation on older Americans coping with ever-higher health care, energy, and food prices. I'm very pleased to be able to work with RetireSafe to enact new legislation that I believe will finally ensure fairness and accuracy for seniors," Duncan stated, pledging bill introduction in January.

Phillips continued, "This is the right approach to correct a longstanding wrong that has harmed our seniors for decades. They're not looking for a hand-out, which is what other measures propose, but rather they want the fair, accurate, and 'right' benefits they have worked for and rightly deserve. We are proud to work with Congressman Duncan to enact into law the 'CPI for Seniors' Act for America's seniors that he will soon be introducing in the U.S. House of Representatives."

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