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Social Security boosts benefits 5.9%

SocSecCOLAthru2022

By Joel Dresang

Retirees and other Social Security recipients will receive their biggest boosts to benefits in 40 years: A 5.9% raise from their 2021 monthly benefits.

The Social Security Administration announced the increase as part of its annual cost-of-living adjustment, based on inflation measured by components of the Consumer Price Index. The higher benefits take effect in January and affects about 70 million Americans.

The 5.9% raise for 2022 tops the 1.3% addition made for 2021 and the 3.7% average since the COLA began in 1975. The last time Social Security recipients got such a big increase was in 1982, when benefits went up 7.4%.

Social Security estimates average benefit for retirees in 2022 will be $1,657, up from $1565 in 2021. Benefits vary according to individuals’ earnings over time as well as at what age they start receiving benefits.

The administration also announced adjustments for how much earned income is subject to Social Security taxes. Beginning in 2022, earnings above $147,000 should not be taxed, up 2.9% from $142,800 in 2021. Social Security bases the annual adjustment in earnings limits on the change in average wages.

Joel Dresang is vice president-communications at Landaas & Company.

Learn more
Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Information for 2022, from the Social Security Administration
7 lessons from my Social Security Statement, by Joel Dresang
Working longer to fatten Social Security, A Money Talk Video with Lisa Lewitzke
When Should I …check my Social Security Statement?
When to start receiving retirement benefits, from the Social Security Administration
Benefits calculatorsfrom the Social Security Administration
Frequently Asked Questionsfrom the Social Security Administration
(initially posted October 29, 2021)

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