Seniors need higher COLAs – and we’re not talking about soda. COLA stands for cost-of-living adjustment and the Social Security Administration uses this each year when calculating the amount of benefit payments. This year, retirees saw only a 1.3% COLA. That works out to about $20 more per month on average. That’s not nearly enough.
Kiplinger.com explains in simple terms exactly how Social Security COLA is calculated and why it can change from year to year. For instance, while the COLA was only 1.3% this year, in 2009 recipients saw a 5.8% increase and in 2016 there was no COLA at all.
The Seniors Trust is fighting for a fair COLA each year. One that is based on the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) instead of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners (CPI-W) used currently. The CPI-E takes the unique spending habits of seniors into account — particularly regarding the cost of healthcare — and offers a more realistic COLA for retirees. That is just one of the changes we will see when the Social Security Expansion Act is passed. The Seniors Trust has made it our mission to push Congress to enact this important piece of legislation that will buttress the long-term solvency of Social Security and expand benefits for seniors by about $65 per month.