Lower inflation, lower Social Security raise
By Joel Dresang
A downside of tamping down the inflation rate is that Social Security recipients will be getting a thinner increase in 2024.
The Social Security Administration says beneficiaries will get a raise of 3.2% beginning in January. That’s down from an 8.7% boost in 2023 and is below the long-term average annual increase of 3.8%.
Social Security’s annual cost-of-living adjustment is based on a version of the federal Consumer Price Index, which measured broad inflation at 3.7% in September. That was down from a four-decade high of 9.1% in June 2022. The Federal Reserve Board has been raising short-term interest rates for more than a year and a half to try to get inflation closer to its long-range target of 2%
Social Security said, beginning in January, the average recipient can expect an added $59 in their benefit checks, to an average $1,907 a month. For the average retired couple, with each spouse receiving benefits, the monthly check would go up by $94 to $3,033.
Social Security is making other inflation adjustments, including raising the income limits on how much retirees receiving benefits may earn without forfeiting up to half of their government checks.
Joel Dresang is vice president-communications at Landaas & Company.
If you haven’t already, set up a free, secure, personalized Social Security account online https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/
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(initially posted Nov. 6, 2023)