COLAs for Military Retirees: Summary of Congressional and Executive Branch Action, 1982-2002 (FY1983-FY2003) Page: 4 of 29
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COLAs for Military Retirees: Summary of
Congressional and Executive Branch Action,
1982-2002 (FY1 983-FY2003)
Background: The Omnibus Reconciliation Act
of 1982 (FY1983)
The Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1982 (P.L. 97-253; September 8, 1982)
suspended previously existing permanent law pertaining to cost-of-living adjustments
(COLAs) for federal civilian and military retirees. Much of the legislative and
executive branch activity related to military retirement COLAs since 1983 has
involved efforts to repeal or extend provisions of this legislation.
Prior to enactment of the 1982 Act, military retirement COLAs had been paid
on an annual basis, effective on March 1 of each year, and based on the percentage
increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of December of the preceding year over
that of the December before that. For example, the 8.7% COLA, effective March 1,
1982, was based on the percentage increase in the CPI of December 1981 over that
of December 1980.
The 1982 Act provided that COLAs for FY1983, FY1984, and FY1985 would
be effective on April 1, 1983, May 1, 1984, and June 1, 1985, respectively. It also
provided for the COLAs of nondisabled military retirees under age 62 to be
calculated according to a different formula designed to lower them relative to those
of all other military retirees. A COLA of 3.3% was accordingly paid to nondisabled
military retirees under 62, and a 3.9% COLA was paid to all other military retirees,
effective April 1, 1983. In addition, the 1982 Act required deductions equal to the
COLAs in their military retired pay from the pay of most federal civil servants who
had previously retired from the military.
This report examines executive and congressional COLA-related initiatives
associated with each of the fiscal year budgeting processes from calendar year 1982
(FY1983) through calendar year 2000 (FY2001).
FY1984 (1983) COLA Actions
The COLA situation for military retirees remained unchanged during FY1984
legislative activity (that which took place during calendar year 1983), despite efforts
from the Administration and in the Congress.
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COLAs for Military Retirees: Summary of Congressional and Executive Branch Action, 1982-2002 (FY1983-FY2003), report, November 29, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc815742/m1/4/: accessed February 17, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.