Inflation could prompt largest Social Security cost-of-living adjustment in decades

The Social Security cost-of-living adjustment for 2022 could be 6.1% due to inflation, according to a new estimate.

That would be the biggest increase since 1983, according to non-partisan advocacy group The Senior Citizens League, which calculated the figure. It’s also a bump up from last month’s estimate, when the increase for next year was expected to be 5.3%.

The new estimate comes as the Consumer Price Index in June increased 5.4%from a year earlier, the largest gain since August 2008. Higher food and energy prices were among the culprits that helped push the inflation measure higher.

That helped push estimate the Social Security COLA for 2022 higher. That annual change is calculated based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, or CPI-W.

Gasoline is particularly heavily weighted in the CPI-W, which helped to push up the COLA estimate. Many seniors are also noticing higher prices at their grocery stores, according to Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare policy analyst at The Senior Citizens League.

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