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2.6% Social Security COLA Estimated for 2025

If that estimate from The Senior Citizens League holds, the 2025 COLA number would be lower than the two previous years.

By Paul Liotta, Staten Island Advance, N.Y. (TNS)

The Social Security Administration typically releases annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) in mid-October, but one organization says it will likely be lower in 2025 than years past.

The Senior Citizens League, a nonpartisan senior citizens group, released a 2025 COLA estimate of 2.6% April 10.

If the estimate holds, that number was lower than the two previous years when the Social Security COLA brought the total benefit up 8.7% in 2023 and 3.2% this year.

The Senior Citizens League estimates and the final number, decided by the federal government, are based on inflation rates, which have been lower since the nation’s economy stabilized from the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

An uptick in inflation did mark an increase from The Senior Citizens League February COLA estimate of 1.75%, but Shannon Benton, executive director of The Senior Citizens League, said more needs to be done to help the nation’s seniors.

According to a survey the League said it conducted among seniors, 71% of respondents said they’d seen an increase in household costs exceeding the 3.2% COLA from last year.

“From long-term dwindling purchasing power to heightened financial uncertainty, the trouble of seniors not being able to make ends meet remains a pressing concern of The Senior Citizens League,” Benton said.

About COLA adjustments

Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are subject to an annual COLA based on inflation rates to ensure that monthly payments keep pace with rising costs.

In October of 2023, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that beneficiaries will see a 3.2% increase for 2024, raising the average monthly payment for Social Security benefits by more than $50 and the maximum SSI payment by $30.

Cost-of-living adjustments are determined using third-quarter data—July, August and September—from the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

Inflation for those three months is added together, averaged and then compared to the previous year’s third-quarter average, with the percentage difference between the current year and the previous year serving as the COLA rate for the upcoming year.

In recent years, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic’s impact on inflation led to abnormally high adjustments, including a 5.9% increase in 2022 and an 8.7% increase in 2023, which was the largest increase in four decades.

Reductions in inflation in 2023 brought 2024’s adjustment back down to 3.2%, which is more in line with the 2.6% average annual increase seen over the past two decades.

In 2023, an average of nearly 67 million Americans per month collected Social Security benefits, totaling over $1.4 trillion dollars in benefits paid during the year, according to the SSA.

Social Security benefits represent about 30% of income for Americans aged 65 and older, the administration said.


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