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Op-Ed
 

National Committee to Preserve Social Security: Is next year's 1.5% COLA increase too much?

Proposed Chained CPI Would Cut An Already Tiny Cost of Living Increase

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By: National Committee to Preserve Social Security

October 30, 2013 - Today's announcement that the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment will be just 1.5% 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

The National Committee, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization acts in the interests of its membership through advocacy, education, services, grassroots efforts and the leadership of the Board of Directors and professional staff. The work of the National Committee is directed toward developing better-informed citizens and voters.

 

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