Vets: Don't cut our pensions

Vets: Don't cut our pensions (Reporter: Jon Erickson)

CARTERET COUNTY - Several retired veterans who spoke with NewsChannel 12 are concerned about a pending budget deal in Congress.

The issue: The plan would cut military retirees' annual cost of living adjustment, or COLA, by 1 percentage point every year.

For example, under the plan, a 3 percent COLA would be reduced to 2 percent.

That change would amount to $80,000 over 20 years for a senior enlisted service member, according to Veterans of Foreign Wars.

"They're changing the rules," said Newport resident Chuck Dwyer, who retired from the Navy after serving for 27 years.

The change is part of a bipartisan budget deal that passed the House last week.

The change would affect current retirees, but only those younger than 62 years old.

"That's not what we were promised," said Navy veteran Steven Carter, who lives in Cape Carteret.

Carter said he earned meager pay at the beginning of his career, but stayed in the service because he believed his retirement benefits would not be altered.

Carter characterized the plan as a "stab in the back."

The plan is now under consideration by the Senate.

Democratic North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan has not publicly stated her stance on the proposal.

An email to a representative for Republican North Carolina Senator Richard Burr was not returned.

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