RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Social Security recipients could see an increase in their benefits next year. According to a probability analysis conducted by the Senior Citizens League, recipients are expected to see a 3.2% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase in their benefits in 2024.
Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare Policy Analyst with the league says the increase is based on inflation data from July, August and September.
“They take the rate of inflation in each of those months, they average that together and then they compare that to the rate of inflation during the third quarter of the previous year,” Johnson said.
Even with the increase — around $57 for the average recipient — Johnson said it shouldn’t be assumed people are getting rich off Social Security.
“Social Security benefits are very modest at best,” Johnson said. “They only represent about, if we are lucky, around 30% of our earnings.”
Johnson said another problem with Social Security is that it doesn’t keep up with the pace of salary increases. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wages went up by 4.5% in the second quarter of 2023 compared to the same time last year.
“We are much more oriented to inflation which is based on consumer prices,” Johnson said. “Consumer prices often tend to grow more slowly than wages.”
The Social Security Administration is still waiting on inflation data from September before making an official announcement on the size of the cost-of-living increase in October.