Social Security COLA for 2022 could be higher based on consumer prices

Rising consumer prices have helped push the newest estimate for subsequent yr’s Social Security cost-of-living adjustment to five.3%.

Whether that may really be the bump retirees see to their month-to-month checks in 2022 relies upon quite a bit on the economic system, together with whether or not the Federal Reserve decides to boost rates of interest.

The 5.3% estimate was calculated by The Senior Citizens League, a non-partisan senior group, based on Consumer Price Index information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics by May.

If that quantity had been to undergo, it will be the very best annual adjustment since 2009, when advantages noticed a 5.8% increase.

In 2021, Social Security beneficiaries acquired a 1.3% improve to their month-to-month checks.

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The Senior Citizens League beforehand estimated the COLA for 2022 could be 4.7%, based on information by April.

Social Security’s annual cost-of-living adjustment is calculated from the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, or CPI-W. There continues to be 4 extra months of knowledge earlier than the official estimate for subsequent yr is decided.

The month-to-month soar in The Senior Citizens League’s estimate is because of rising prices brought on by inflation, in line with Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare coverage analyst on the Senior Citizens League.

The value of gasoline noticed the largest hike, rising 56.2% from May 2020 to May 2021.

Used automotive and truck prices rose by 29.7% in that one-year interval.

Other day-to-day objects additionally noticed a spike in prices. Bacon rose 13%, citrus fruits are up by 9% and milk is up 7.2%.

Not every little thing rose, nevertheless.. The value of floor beef, for instance, declined by 5.8%.

How these prices form up within the coming months — and whether or not subsequent yr’s cost-of-living adjustment stays the identical, goes up or declines — will rely on these consumer prices.

Any motion by the Federal Reserve could change the trajectory of these prices. Though the Federal Open Market Committee is assembly this week, the central financial institution will not be anticipated to announce any adjustments. It could, nevertheless, sign the way it is considering its plans going ahead.

“A lot is going to depend on what happens next,” Johnson stated. “If they announce that they will be raising interest rates, it will be very interesting to watch how that would impact the COLA.”