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AARP: Social Security COLA Critically Important to Beneficiaries

AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond offered the following statement reacting to today’s announcement by the Social Security Administration of a 1.7% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2013


October 16, 2012


Tiffany Lundquist

202-434-2560 or

AARP: Social Security COLA Critically Important to Beneficiaries

Washington, DC – AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond offered the following statement reacting to today’s announcement by the Social Security Administration of a 1.7% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2013:

“The annual COLA is critically important to the financial security of the nearly 55 million Americans receiving Social Security benefits today. Without the protection against inflation offered by the COLA, the average annual retirement benefit of roughly $14,700 a year would quickly erode in value. Amid rising costs for food, utilities and health care and continued economic uncertainty, the COLA helps millions of older Americans maintain their standard of living, keeping many out of  poverty.

“While this modest increase will help, much of the COLA will be consumed by health care and prescription costs, which continually outpace inflation. Every day, retirees and other beneficiaries struggling to make ends meet still feel like they’re falling further behind.

“In this difficult economic environment, with many Americans expecting to depend even more heavily on Social Security in the future, it is unfortunate that some on Capitol Hill continue to suggest making the COLA even smaller by changing the way it is calculated. Any proposal to decrease the COLA as part of a deficit reduction deal ignores the real struggles facing many seniors today, and would exacerbate their financial hardships with each passing year.

“We launched ‘You’ve Earned a Say’ earlier this year to make sure Americans could have a voice in any discussion about the future of Social Security. More than three million people have been engaged, and they have spoken up to say that Social Security is critical to the retirement security of seniors and should be strengthened.

“Social Security provides a basic foundation of income security for retirees and their families, and is the principal source of family income for nearly half of older Americans. On behalf of our members and all Americans who are counting on the benefits they worked for, AARP will continue our work to strengthen Social Security and ensure that benefits keep up with inflation for current and future generations.”

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for Americans 50+ and the world's largest-circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for the 50+ audience; AARP VIVA, a bilingual lifestyle multimedia platform addressing the interests and needs of Hispanic Americans; and national television and radio programming including My Generation and Inside E Street. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at


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