Social Security News
Minimum Social Security COLA of
Three Percent Demanded by Senior Citizens League
About $113 Missing from Social
Security in 2015, Says The Senior Citizens League
23, 2014 – Only a day after Social Security announced a 1.7 percent
cost-of-living increase for beneficiaries in 2015, The Senior Citizens
League is calling for a minimum increase of 3 percent, which was the
average before 2010. The group’s leader, Ed Cates, says benefits of the
typical Social Security recipient will be about $5,298 lower by the end
of 2015 due to the government not maintaining at least a 3 percent
How much will the Social Security
cost – of – living adjustment (COLA) boost your benefits? “Probably not
enough to prevent a loss of benefit buying power,” says TSCL Chairman
The Social Security Administration
yesterday announced that beneficiaries would receive a 1.7 percent COLA
for 2015. Cates points out this is the sixth consecutive year of
“exceptionally low growth in benefits”.
With the average Social Security
payment hovering around $1,200 per month, the COLA would boost benefits
by around $20.00, he says.
In the past five years the annual
adjustment has averaged just 1.4 percent — less than half the 3 percent
average of the prior two decades starting in 1990.
Retirees and disabled Social
Security recipients are reporting that the COLA is doing a poor job of
what it’s intended to do — protecting the buying power of their Social
Security benefits, Cates says.
According to an annual survey
performed by TSCL, Social Security benefits have lost 31 percent of
their buying power since 2000.
The financial impact of six years
of low COLAs isn’t immediately apparent to the average person, but “It’s
a big one,” Cates says.
A new analysis for TSCL that
compared the increases from 2010 through 2015 against the prior 3%
average found that, altogether, the benefits of the typical Social
Security recipient will be about $5,298 lower by the end of 2015. In
2015 the average monthly Social Security benefit will be about $113
lower, and $1,356 less for the year.
“And that’s not all,” says Cates.
“Beneficiaries lose the compounding effect they get with higher
benefits,” he notes. “Even when inflation returns to more typical
levels, beneficiaries’ lifetime Social Security income will continue to
“Economic recession isn’t entirely
to blame for low inflation,” says the TSCL news release. For more than
three decades the federal government has made a substantial number of
changes to the methodology it uses to calculate the consumer price
index, which is used to determine the COLA. “Virtually all the changes
have tended to reduce the measured rate of inflation,” Cates says.
“Not surprisingly, many COLA
recipients sometimes tell us they suspect the government is manipulating
the inflation measure to cut spending on their benefits,” he adds.
TSCL believes the current COLA is
not sustainable for today’s retirees and disabled beneficiaries, and is
lobbying for legislation that would provide a minimum COLA of 3% in
years in which inflation drops lower.
What do you think? You have a
chance to express your opinion at the TSCL’s website at
About The Senior Citizens League
With about 1 million supporters,
The Senior Citizens League reports it is one of the nation’s largest
nonpartisan seniors groups. Located just outside Washington, D.C., its
mission is to promote and assist members and supporters, to educate and
alert senior citizens about their rights and freedoms as U.S. Citizens,
and to protect and defend the benefits senior citizens have earned and
paid for. The Senior Citizens League is a proud affiliate of TREA (The
Enlisted Association). Visit the
website or call 1-800-333-8725 for more information.