“The just-announced 2.0% cost-of-living increase (COLA) for Social Security beneficiaries is woefully inadequate. The 2018 COLA translates into a paltry $27 a month for the average recipient, barely enough for a prescription co-pay, a tank of gas, or a bag of groceries. Because COLAs are cumulative from year to year (2016’s was 0% and 2017’s 0.3%), beneficiaries will continue to fall further behind. For many seniors, the COLA increase will be completely negated by the increase in Medicare premiums for 2018 (about 23%). In fact, Social Security COLAs will never truly keep pace with seniors’ actual cost of living as long as they are tied to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners (CPI-W). The National Committee supports legislation in Congress by Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN) to link COLAs to a CPI for the Elderly (CPI-E), which more accurately reflects seniors’ living expenses. (The legislation would also give beneficiaries a one-time emergency benefit payout equal to a 3.9% raise.) Only then will COLAs truly keep pace with the rising costs of aging.”
- Max Richtman, President and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
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