By Jim Donovan
Social Security recipients can expect a little extra cash in their monthly checks beginning in January. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan joins us now with a look at the numbers.
Nearly 58 million people receive Social Security benefits, next year their their checks will increase by one point five percent. What does that mean to the average retired worker? This cost of living adjustment is in part calculated by comparing consumer prices in July, August and September to the prices from the same time last year. Since prices haven’t gone up much year to year, this cost of living adjustment is small. It’s the smallest increase since automatic cost of living adjustments were introduced in 1975. Social Security pays retired workers an average of $1,272 a month. That 1.5 percent increase comes to about $19 a month.
In the past many people wouldn’t see much of an increase in their monthly checks because at the same time Medicare part b premiums which come out automatically from Social Security payments went up too. So it was a wash. The good news for 2014? Those Medicare part b premiums will stay the same.
Just in case you were wondering. The Social Security cost of living adjustment for 2013 was 1.7% and in 2010 and 2011 there was no adjustment since inflation was too low.