What Happened to My Social Security COLA?
Dealing with the Impact on Beneficiaries and Budgets
During a Period Without COLAs
An AARP Solutions Forum
September 21, 2009
Union Station Columbus Club
For the first time since 1975—when Social Security benefits were indexed to inflation—there will be no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) next year. Projected low inflation means that no COLAs are expected as well for 2011 and 2012. This forum features an expert discussion of:
- How the Social Security COLA works and how the Medicare Part B premium is affected.
- How inflation is measured for the COLA, and how the measure might be improved.
- The impact of no COLA’s on state budgets.
- Policy options to address the hardships Social Security beneficiaries may face.
Stephen C. Goss, Chief Actuary, Social Security Administration
How the COLA is calculated and alternative measures of inflation
Tricia Neuman, Vice President and Director of the Medicare Policy Project, Kaiser Family Foundation
The Social Security COLA and the Medicare Part B Premium: issues and options
Matt Salo, Director, Health and Human Services Committee, National Governors Association
The Impact on State Budgets
This Fact Sheet describes four price indexes published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and discusses differences in the methodology used to derive them. These differences can have a large effect on federal revenues and outlays, including Social Security benefits.
Social Security insurance covers 94 percent of workers in paid employment and self-employment. The program has been a success; however, Social Security has a long-term solvency challenge. This Fact Sheet discusses ten important facts regarding Social Security and its future.