UNITED STATES NEWS

Social Security benefits will increase by 3.2% in 2024 as inflation moderates

Oct 12, 2023, 7:00 PM

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of Social Security recipients will get a 3.2% increase in their benefits in 2024, far less than this year’s historic boost and reflecting moderating consumer prices.

The cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, means the average recipient will receive more money every month beginning in January, the Social Security Administration said Thursday.

About 71 million people — including retirees, disabled people and children — receive Social Security benefits.

Thursday’s announcement follows this year’s 8.7% benefit increase, brought on by record 40-year-high inflation, which pushed up the price of consumer goods. With inflation easing, the next annual increase is markedly smaller.

Still, senior advocates applauded the annual adjustment.

“Retirees can rest a little easier at night knowing they will soon receive an increase in their Social Security checks to help them keep up with rising prices,” AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins said. “We know older Americans are still feeling the sting when they buy groceries and gas, making every dollar important.”

Social Security is financed by payroll taxes collected from workers and their employers. The maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security payroll taxes was $160,200 for 2023, up from $147,000 in 2022.

The social insurance program faces a severe financial shortfall in coming years.

The annual Social Security and Medicare trustees report released in March said the program’s trust fund will be unable to pay full benefits beginning in 2033. If the trust fund is depleted, the government will be able to pay only 77% of scheduled benefits, the report said.

There have been legislative proposals to shore up Social Security, but they have not made it past committee hearings.

The COLA is calculated according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index, or CPI. But there are calls for the agency to instead use a different index, the CPI-E, which measures price changes based on the spending patterns of the elderly, like health care, food and medicine costs.

Any change to the calculation would require congressional approval. But with decades of inaction on Social Security and with the House at a standstill after the ouster of Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., seniors and their advocates say they don’t have confidence any sort of change will be approved soon.

The cost of living adjustments have a big impact for people like Alfred Mason, an 83-year-old Louisiana resident. Mason said that “any increase is welcomed, because it sustains us for what we are going through.”

As inflation is still high, he said, anything added to his income “would be greatly appreciated.”

 

United States News

southern Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly...

Associated Press

Trial of a southern Arizona rancher charged in fatal shooting of unarmed migrant goes to the jury

Closing arguments were made against a southern Arizona rancher accused of shooting an undocumented migrant on his land to death on Thursday.

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Unfair labor complaint filed against Notre Dame over athletes

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — An unfair labor complaint was filed Thursday against the University of Notre Dame for classifying college athletes as “student-athletes.” The complaint was filed with the National Labor Relations Board by a California-based group calling itself the College Basketball Players Association. It said Notre Dame is engaging in unfair labor practices […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

US deports about 50 Haitians to nation hit with gang violence, ending monthslong pause in flights

MIAMI (AP) — The Biden administration sent about 50 Haitians back to their country on Thursday, authorities said, marking the first deportation flight in several months to the Caribbean nation struggling with surging gang violence. The Homeland Security Department said in a statement that it “will continue to enforce U.S. laws and policy throughout the […]

5 hours ago

Donald Trump's hush money trial: 12 jurors selected...

Associated Press

Although 12 jurors were picked for Donald Trump’s hush money trial, selection of alternates is ongoing

A jury of 12 people was seated Thursday in former President Donald Trump's hush money trial. The proceedings are close to opening statements.

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Legislation allowing doctor-assisted suicide narrowly clears Delaware House, heads to state Senate

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A bill allowing doctor-assisted suicide in Delaware narrowly cleared the Democrat-led House on Thursday and now goes to the state Senate for consideration. The bill is the latest iteration of legislation that has been repeatedly introduced by Newark Democrat Paul Baumbach since 2015, and it is the only proposal to make […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

California governor pledges state oversight for cities, counties lagging on solving homelessness

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Nearly $200 million in grant money will go to California cities and counties to move homeless people from encampments into housing, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday while also pledging increased oversight of efforts by local governments to reduce homelessness. The Democratic governor said he will move 22 state personnel from a […]

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Social Security benefits will increase by 3.2% in 2024 as inflation moderates