Tags: social security | payments | 2017

Social Security Payments in 2017 Will Go Up a Whopping $3 to $7

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By    |   Wednesday, 19 Oct 2016 05:53 AM

Social Security payments in 2017 will jump to $3 to $7 per month for retired workers, an average of benefit of $1,341, marking it as one of the smallest cost of living increases in the program's history.

The cost of living adjustment of 0.2 percent to 0.5 percent, which was announced Tuesday, according to USA Today, was made based on a formula that connects the increase to the consumer price index.

David Certner, legislative policy director for AARP, told USA Today that the small increase was not necessarily a bad thing.

"People feel a bigger (cost of living adjustment) is better, obviously," said Certner. "But if you're getting a bigger COLA and prices are rising faster, you're not necessarily better off."

Wall Street Journal writer Ben Leubsdorf said last week that the anticipated small increase appears to be a continuation of slow benefit growth since 2007.

"Beneficiaries got no cost of living bump this year due to soft inflation in 2015, including a plunge in the cost of gasoline and other energy products that depressed broad consumer-price gauges," said Leubsdorf.

"The price measure used to calculate the annual living-cost adjustment, the Labor Department's consumer-price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers, or CPI-W, fell 0.4 percent in the third quarter of 2015 compared with a year earlier. That translated into no change in benefits for the third time since the 2007-09 recession."

USA Today said those receiving Social Security benefits while continuing to work will see a small increase in their income cap. Currently, workers who have not reached the full retirement age of 66 can still get full social security benefits if they earn less than $15,720.

A higher cost of living adjustment will also cost millions of working Americans who contribute to the social security through payroll deductions, which is now at 6.2 percent on earnings up to $118,500.

Medicare Part B premiums, which cover doctor visits, lab tests and outpatient medical treatments, will see a small increase as well, said Fox Business. About 70 percent of participants are protected by the hold-harmless provision which prevents premiums from rising more than the cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits.

"For the three-quarters of people who are under hold-harmless, there is going to be very little increase possible in their Part B premiums," said Max Gulker, a senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research. "So that often spells bad news for the folks who are not under hold-harmless because whatever sort of cost increase in the system has to be made up from that smaller group."

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Social Security payments in 2017 will jump to $3 to $7 per month for retired workers, an average of benefit of $1,341, marking it as one of the smallest cost of living increases in the program's history.
social security, payments, 2017
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2016-53-19
Wednesday, 19 Oct 2016 05:53 AM
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