Only in Washington would you see folks who actually believe that today’s announcement of a 1.5% COLA hike (three out of five years it’s been less than 2%) is too generous. This tiny COLA increase means that millions of seniors who rely on their Social Security for the basics like fuel, groceries and medical bills will once again find their expenses outpacing their Social Security benefit. For the average senior, this COLA will mean about a $19 monthly increase, which incredibly some in Washington consider too generous.
“Seniors know all to well, their living costs often outpace the COLA increase and a 1.5% increase is anything but too generous. Proponents of a stingier COLA formula claim the Chained CPI is more accurate; however, in truth it is a benefit cut for millions of current and future retirees, veterans, people with disabilities and their families. Replacing the current COLA formula with the chained CPI will mean the typical 65 year-old, who filed for benefits at 62, would lose about $130 per year in benefits. By the time that senior reaches 95, the annual benefit cut will be almost $1,400, which is a 9.2 percent cut.
Given that the average senior currently receives just over $14,000 a year in Social Security, it’s hard to imagine how anyone can argue the COLA should be cut.. Yet this is exactly what has been proposed by the White House and in budget negotiations on Capitol Hill. The American people don’t support cutting Social Security to balance the budget and this annual COLA announcement should remind Washington why adopting the chained CPI is not only bad policy, it’s also bad politics.”…Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO
There is a better way as our President/CEO, Max Richtman, has reported:
The BLS acknowledges the current CPI-W does not “produce official estimates for the rate of inflation experienced by subgroups of the population, such as the elderly or the poor. This is why we need a true elderly index like the CPI-E and not a formula change that will cut benefits and drive more seniors into poverty. A provision in Senator Bernie Sanders’s bill to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (S. 1028) would require the BLS improve the CPI-E and should be adopted by this Congress without any further delay.