Social security beneficiaries could get one of the largest cost-of-living raises since 1981 next year if inflation remains hot, but some analysts are warning people not to get too excited yet.
The annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for social security benefits is based on the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W), a subset of the overall consumer price index.
In June, CPI-W rose 9.8% from a year ago for the largest increase since October 1981 and outpacing the broader headline gain of 9.1%. Based on that, COLA could be 10.5% next year, up from 5.9% this year, Mary Johnson, policy analyst at The Senior Citizens League, estimates. A 10.5% COLA would increase the average retiree benefit of $1,668 by $175.10, she said.
While any COLA increase would be welcomed by retirees, especially those suffering as the highest inflation in 40 years is already well above their 5.9% raise this year, Johnson warns retirees won’t be getting the full raise and could end up with less in the end.
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