As part of the government-wide budget passed in 2013, the veterans benefits that governed the year-to-year adjustment for cost-of-living, or COLA, was to decrease 1 percent annually. After intense backlash from the veterans' affairs community, several Senators voiced their opinions against the provision on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, USA Today reports.
"I believe that the COLA reduction is wrong," Armed Services Committee chair Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said, "because it targets a single group – military retirees – to help address the budget problems of the federal government as a whole."
While a 1 percent annual reduction of pension funds may not seem like a large amount at first glance, the Marine Corps Times provides a breakdown of the long-term impact of the cuts. An E-7 retiree with over two decades of service stands to lose upwards of $100,000 by age 62, while the numbers only climb for officers.
"You don't join the military to get rich," retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy told the Marine Corps Times. "We're still fighting a war, and now we are talking about reducing the COLA? I don't get it."