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Social Security checks to get ‘extremely low’ COLA bump in 2021


The Social Security Administration on Tuesday announced a 1.3% cost of living adjustment for 2021, which will increase checks for the program’s 64 million beneficiaries by just a few hundred dollars per year.

The adjustment is expected to boost the average beneficiary’s check by about $250 per year. The average monthly benefit will rise $20 – to $1,543 from $1,523.
The adjustment is expected to boost the average beneficiary’s check by about $250 per year. The average monthly benefit will rise $20 – to $1,543 from $1,523.

SOCIAL SECURITY COLA: HERE’S HOW IT’S CALCULATED

This year’s increase is among the smallest ever, and it marks the fifth time since 2010 that there will be an extremely low, or even no, adjustment, according to The Senior Citizens League.

Benefits increased by 1.6 % in 2020, 2.8% in 2019, 2% in 2018, 0.3 percent in 20170% in 2016, 1.75% in 2015, 2014 1.5%, 2013 1.77%, 2012 3.6%, 2011 0,0%, 2010 0.0%.

The increase will take effect in January for Social Security recipients and Dec. 31 for Supplemental Security Income recipients.
Cost of living adjustments, which began in 1975, are implemented in order to counteract the effects of inflation. However, some senior advocacy groups have expressed concerns that costs have risen faster than inflation throughout recent years.  The Senior Citizens League claims benefits have lost 30% of their purchasing power since the year 2000.
Richard Fiesta, executive director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, called the 2021 COLA “disappointing” in a statement on Tuesday, saying the increase it not “nearly enough” to keep up with rising drug costs and other expenses.  “The coronavirus pandemic is also hitting many seniors hard,” Fiesta said. “At least 16% of seniors who work have lost their job due to the coronavirus pandemic meaning Social security is a larger portion of their income.”
From a broader perspective, there is heightened concern about the future solvency of the program – given the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare policy analyst at The Senior Citizens League, told FOX Business that a decline in payroll tax revenues could lead to a drop in funding for the program, which is already facing solvency issues.  “With so many out of work, and some businesses closing altogether, there’s been a big drop in revenues going into the program,” Johnson said.
Unemployment pay is not subject to payroll taxes.

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