Inflation has hit all of us hard, but it’s truly taking a toll on seniors living off of fixed incomes. A new bill before Congress would change the way the annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustment is made, putting more money into retirees’ pockets at a time when they need it most.
The “Fair COLA For Seniors Act of 2021” requires Social Security to use the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly to calculate a fairer cost of living adjustment for seniors. One of the bill’s sponsors, U.S. Representative John Garamendi, explained that H.R. 4315 would increase benefits and ensure that cost of living adjustments in Social Security reflect “the real rising costs for seniors and disabled Americans.”
Call for CPI-E Based COLA Calculation
The bill calls for using the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly to calculate a fairer cost of living adjustment (COLA) for seniors. Older Americans spend a disproportionate amount of money on healthcare and prescription drugs. That, coupled with increasing housing costs and rising prices on basic grocery goods, is putting a financial strain on many seniors.
According to the California Congressman, “Using a COLA that actually reflects how retirees spend their money – especially in health care – is a no-brainer that will increase benefits and make Social Security work better for the people it serves.”
Widespread Call for COLA Change and A Better Option?
Congress should pass the The Social Security Expansion Act. This legislation would implement the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly to calculate the annual COLA, just like The Fair COLA For Seniors Act, but it also includes many other essential improvements to Social Security.
The Social Security Expansion Act would bring across-the-board benefit increases (about $65 more a month), increased minimum benefits to help keep seniors out of poverty, and a solid plan to ensure the long-term solvency of the Social Security program.