One-term Trump?

If President Donald Trump wants to:

1) Avoid any possible impeachment action, or

2) Help Republicans retain control of the House and Senate in 2018, or

3) Score another electoral vote win in 2020, then,

He might want to back off his plan to put millions of current and future federal retirees on a zero-calorie COLA (as in cost-of-living-adjustment) diet for life. Why? Because federal retirees and their families are a major factor — both in finances and voting — in most states and many communities.

The budget the president sent Congress last week calls for a 1.9 percent pay raise for non-postal civilian federal workers and a 2.1 percent increase for uniformed military personnel. That’s the good news. In full.

He also wants to reform the giant federal retirement program by making four major changes:

1) Increase employee contributions to their retirement fund by 1 percent a year, each year, for the next six years. You can do the math to see how that (along with higher health premiums each year) would cut into your take-home pay, which is the only part of your check the landlord and butcher care about.

2) Eliminate any and all future inflation adjustments for people under the Federal Employees Retirement System. While the majority of current retirees are under the older CSRS (Civil Service Retirement System) plan, the majority of current workers, people still on the payroll, are under FERS. If Congress approves the plan, they would shift from a diet COLA system to a zero-COLA, meaning no increase in the annuity regardless of any increases in inflation. For life.

3) Return to the system whereby retiree benefits are based on the worker’s highest five-year average salary. Some years ago, in a spurt of generosity, Congress said that the starting annuity would be based on the employee’s highest three-year average salary. While the change would mean little to most people, especially if pay raises were minimal or zero, it strikes a chord with many workers.

4) Last, but not least, the so-called FERS or Social Security supplement for workers who retire before age 62 would be eliminated. That supplemental payment, which can be in the thousands of dollars, is important to lots of employees contemplating retirement. And it’s critical for thousands of LEOs (law enforcement officers), federal firefighters, air traffic controllers and others in critical, high-stress and/or dangerous jobs who are often forced to retire well before age 62.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By David Thornton

The temperature when both the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales are the same is -40 degrees.


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Sep 24, 2021 Close Change YTD*
L Income 23.2215 -0.0094 4.43%
L 2025 12.0371 -0.0091 8.33%
L 2030 42.6114 -0.0422 10.54%
L 2035 12.8142 -0.0141 11.50%
L 2040 48.5542 -0.0585 12.46%
L 2045 13.3168 -0.0175 13.28%
L 2050 29.2066 -0.0408 14.12%
L 2055 14.4012 -0.0223 17.18%
L 2060 14.4012 -0.0222 17.18%
L 2065 14.4012 -0.0222 17.18%
G Fund 16.6687 0.0006 0.88%
F Fund 20.9835 -0.0368 -0.55%
C Fund 67.0131 0.0988 21.56%
S Fund 85.4976 -0.3354 16.31%
I Fund 39.3441 -0.193 11.70%
Closing price updated at approx 6pm ET each business day. More at
* YTD data is updated on the last day of the month.