Fight the Chained CPI: Protect your Social Security Benefits

metal_chain_newMost state employees are counting on two benefits to sustain their retirement. One is our ERS pension; the other is Social Security. But now, federal politicians are trying to cut Social Security payments to help balance the federal deficit.

What is Chained CPI? How would it hurt me?

CPI stands for Consumer Price Index, a formula used to calculate changes in what we pay for basics, like food, rent, and medical care. When the CPI goes up, recipients of Social Security or veterans benefits often get a COLA (or cost-of-living adjustment) to help them keep up with rising costs due to inflation.
The proposed “chained CPI” would reduce social security and veterans benefits. Under the “chained CPI”, the cost-of-living adjustment or COLA would be less. It would get harder for you to afford groceries, gas, medicine and basics. Chained CPI assumes that if you receive less money, you will spend less money. So, instead of buying tuna fish, seniors might buy cat food to stay alive!

Chained CPI would have a snowball effect.

What’s more, chained CPI would have a snowball effect – – because it compounds year after year!  An example developed by the AARP shows that a cut of $44 the first year would amount to an $89 loss the second year and a total loss of $9,139 in 20 years.
Even if you are not yet receiving Social Security or veterans benefits, your future benefits would be cut. It is estimated that the adoption of chained CPI would take approximately $146 billion dollars out of the pockets of current and near retirees, working families, veterans and the disabled.
Social Security is vital to the economic security of American workers, the elderly and the disabled. TSEU doesn’t believe that “chained CPI” is the way to fix the federal deficit.

What you need to do now:

Call President Obama, your Senators and Congressmen. Leave a message, “No chained CPI for Social Security.”

How to reach them:

  • President Obama: Call 202-456-1111 and leave a message or CLICK HERE to e-mail
  • Senator John Cornyn:  Call 202-224-2934 or  CLICK HERE to email
  • Senator Ted Cruz: (202) 224-5922 or CLICK HERE to email
  • Your Congressman: For contact information, go to: