Oct 22, 2014

1.7% COLA

     From a Social Security press release:
Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 64 million Americans will increase 1.7 percent in 2015, the Social Security Administration announced today.
The 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that more than 58 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2015.  Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2014. The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

SSA also released the Average Wage Index (AWI) for 2013. It was up only 1.3% from 2012, a little less than the inflation rate. Productivity was up in 2013 an estimated 0.7%. Workers got none of the benefits of this productivity increase (or the AWI would have increased over 2%). A lower AWI means lower benefits for future beneficiaries, but lower tax income for SSA, making its finances worse.

Anonymous said...

Workers haven't gotten anywhere near a fair share of the value of their increased production since the 60s-70s, which is (and I'm being facetious here, folks) interestingly when the presence of unions was at its peak (and then began its decline).

Anonymous said...

Who wants to bet that federal employees will see a smaller raise than 1.7%? Maybe another 1%, or more likely another pay freeze and/or shutdown under Republican control.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:40

Zero percent more likely. Remind me again who is living on a "fixed" income.

Anonymous said...

Haven't you read the articles talking about how house republicans are all geared up to shut down the gov't again over some random small funding provision in Obamacare once the elections are over?

We're going to get the best of both worlds--no COLA AND a gov't shutdown just in time for the holidays (current CR expires 12/11/14)! Hooray!!!

Anonymous said...

@12:27pm october 22,2014

There should be NO comparison between federal(ssa)employees and social security beneficiaries.
No reasonable minded person would think otherwise.

If federal workers earn more than $30,000 a year,it seems foolish or unreasonable for a person to complain about beneficiaries receiving $12,000 or less a year.

Anonymous said...

COLA is also tied to retirees under CSRS who earn far more than 12k/yr on average. Federal employee compensation is tied to the whims of Congress, not any actual measure of inflation.

Anonymous said...

@12:41 PM,

Here's the rub, however crass it may seem. Federal workers (and all members of the workforce, for that matter) are - at least in theory - contributing products and/or services to the overall economy, and it is their tax dollars that fund social welfare programs.

Retirees, disabled former workers, and those who have never worked are, quite frankly, not "productive" in a labor sense. This is by no means an indictment of their character; it is simply a hard truth that drives some of the animosity between those currently propping up the social security system and those currently drawing from it.

With each year that Social Security recipients receive a COLA and federal employees do not, the spending power of those employees decreases due to inflation. Effectively, this means that the workers are being asked to shoulder more of the burden with each passing year. It is not simply a question of a $30K earner begrudging a $12K collector for getting a slight boost in income - that $30K earner must sacrifice something. It's a zero-sum game, and people who have already given their pound of flesh generally get angry when they are asked to give a second, third, and fourth pound of flesh. It's worth noting that a stall in federal employee COLA has profound consequences going forward, as it reduces the compounding effect of any future raises, which in turn reduces Agency retirement contributions and pensions.

By all means, give federal beneficiaries a COLA - but finance it by spreading the costs to those best-equipped to bear it (for example, by eliminating the $117K cap on taxable earnings).

Anonymous said...

I'm going to put my conservative hat on, and say those who don't like their compensation can just go get another job.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:03 PM, October 22, 2014

"it is their tax dollars that fund social welfare programs".

Please correct me if i am wrong but federal salaries are paid from tax dollars collected from the private sector.

Anonymous said...

Don't blame the salary freeze or shut down on the Republicans. Obama promised no sequester during the debates and he lied. Further, if the Democrats had come up with a budget, it never would have happened. Think about the first two years of Obama's reign. He had control of the House and the Senate and still couldn't come up with a budget. As a Federal Employee, we got lot better treatment from Bush than from Obama. Promises and nothing, Hope and Change. Just like the minoriies, he has hurt them worse than anyone and they supported him 97%. Sounds like he played them for suckers and is about to do it again in the midterm election. Vote early and often...

Anonymous said...

"Please correct me if i am wrong but federal salaries are paid from tax dollars collected from the private sector."
-----------------
You are right, but only partially right. Federal salaries are paid from tax dollars collected from the public AND private sector. Federal employment would not be possible without private-sector contributions, but federal employees pay back into the same government kitty from which their salaries are drawn. That's why I included "all members of the workforce" in my comment about the producers paying the taxes that subsidize the non-producers.

Anonymous said...

@3:42 PM, October 22, 2014

Blame capitalism not mr obama.

Social Security News said...

We're getting way off topic here. I'm shutting down this thread.