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Why will the adjustment for the annual cost of social security increase next year?

Rising inflation will lead to a significant increase in the annual life security adjustment, or COLA, for 2022. Final calculation

Over the past 10 years, social security cola has averaged 1.7% annually as inflation has been low. But economic recovery from the corona virus epidemic has pushed up the prices of a wide range of goods and services, and is expected to translate into large checks for retirees.

Why is social protection adjusted?

Policymakers say COLA works to protect the purchasing power of social security benefits, and should not be seen as a pay rise for retirees.

At one time, Congress had to approve inflation, but in the mid-1970s, legislators outsourced the task to non-partisan experts in the government bureaucracy. The annual review is now linked to changes in the official scale of inflation and moves forward automatically and without any political intelligence.

What a big increase for 2022?

Stay tuned.

The Great Depression saw a 5.8% increase in COLA in 2009, and next year’s numbers could match that.

This summer, government economists have forecast a 6% COLA limit. If so, this would be the biggest increase in social security seen by the majority of BB Boomer retirees. So far, they have accumulated a modest annual adjustment, not counting the three years for which there was no COLA because inflation barely showed a pulse.

The 6% COLA will increase the average social security payment for a retired worker to about 93 9393 a month to 1 1,636 next year. Compare that. This year’s COLA, Which costs only 20 20 a month.

What has changed in the last year?

As the economy recovers from the Corona virus outbreak, prices are rising at a very good clip.

Gas serves as a perpetual reminder, above $ 3 gallons in most states, $ 4 gallons in California and Hawaii. But food was already on the rise, and so are labor costs, as employers compete to hire selected workers for higher wages and better benefits. Add to that the problems of the mix supply chain, which has slowed the delivery of everything from refrigerators to footwear.

All the prices that consumers pay for their daily needs.

Who was affected?

The COLA is big enough to affect the overall economy.

It affects the household budgets of 1 in 5 Americans, including Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees, about 70 million people.

About half of the elderly live in households where Social Security benefits make up at least 50% of their income, and a quarter depend on their monthly payments or all of their earnings. For this latter group, COLA can literally make a difference in what they put on the table.

Do private pensions also provide cola?

Inflation protection is central to the design of social security benefits, but it is not so common in traditional private pensions. The benefits paid by most employers’ plans gradually lose some of their purchasing power over the years.

Social security not only increases the retirement check to compensate for inflation, but also then adds this amount to a person’s basic benefit in order to increase it as future COLAs are factored.

Can Social Security be used to pay for cola?

Suggestions have been made to increase or return COLAs in the context of widespread social security restoration. Many seniors’ advocates say the current inflation index does not adequately reflect the high cost of healthcare.

On the other hand, groups pushing for a reduction in the federal deficit are pushing for an alternative measure of inflation that leads consumers to the habit of switching to cheaper goods as prices rise. This will lower the cost of living.

The Social Security Trustees said in their report this year. That the program’s long-term financial imbalance is casting a long shadow.

For the first time in 39 years, the cost of providing benefits will exceed the total social security payroll tax and interest income. From here, Social Security will have to use its savings to pay full benefits.

The report raises the fatigue date for the Social Security Large-Scale Trust Fund by one year to 2034.

Such a reduction would represent a major problem for most people who rely on social security, even middle-class retirees.

But hardly anyone in Washington is talking about reform with political power.

“Social security is an issue that needs to be addressed by both parties,” said David Sartner, legislative policy director at AARP. “It’s very difficult and it’s very difficult to work bilaterally on something as big and important as social security.

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