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The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) Warns of Low 2015 Cost of Living Adjustment
Date:8/7/2014

Alexandria, VA (PRWEB) August 07, 2014

Social Security recipients may be in for another record low cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) next year, warns The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). The Social Security Trustees recently forecast that benefits would grow by only 1.5% in 2015 — the same amount beneficiaries received this year. “A COLA that low further weakens the buying power of tens of millions of beneficiaries,” says TSCL Chairman, Ed Cates. Yet COLA reductions remain a key proposal under consideration in Congress to reduce Social Security deficits.

According to a recent national survey by TSCL, the majority of Social Security recipients indicated that their benefits rose by less than $19 in 2014, yet their monthly expenses rose by more than $119 in 2013.

Since 2010 COLAs have been at record lows, averaging just 1.4%. That’s less than half the 3% average during the decade prior to 2010.

Low COLAs affect not only people currently receiving benefits, but also those who have turned age 60 and who have not yet filed a claim. The COLA is part of the formula used to determine initial benefits. A new analysis for TSCL indicates that people who turned age 60 in 2009 will absorb the full brunt of the recent historic low COLAs. The analysis calculates that average monthly Social Security benefits since 2009 rose from $1,062 per month to $1,135.70 per month in 2014. But if retirees had received a more typical COLA of 3 percent, benefits would have increased to $1,231.10 per month — $95.40 more. “Since 2009 individuals with average benefits would have received about $3,942 more if COLAs were the more average 3%,” Cates says. “Unfortunately, the measurement of inflation used to determine COLAs has been subject to a great deal of government tinkering.”

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