Oct 20, 2014

COLA Announcement Due On Wednesday

     The announcement of this year's Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits is due out on Wednesday. It will probably be 1.7%.


Anonymous said...

i wonder what the COLA will be for agency employees?

I know, it's 0.0%. Remind me again who lives on a "fixed" income. Right, the people that actually work 40 hours per week.

Anyone else see the inequity in this situation?

Anonymous said...

Hello 11:09 AM, October 20, 2014

It seems to me if government employees are unsatisfied with their pay or salary they should make a complaint with the proper officials,perhaps opm?

A person working is no more honorable,and in some cases,less than honorable then a valid handicapped person with diminished or NO ability to work or retiree.

Anonymous said...

The average person who works makes a lot more money than the average Social Security recipient. So the latter getting a COLA while some of the former do not actually decreases inequity.

That said, I think everyone should get a COLA, and working people who are doing their job well should get raises in addition to COLAs. I also think pay for most people should be higher than it is now. But the people who run the world think that money should be concentrated as much as possible, which makes the economy weak and unemployment high, so workers can't demand decent pay.

Anonymous said...

this is for benefits...not workers who for ssa..

Anonymous said...

@ 10:04...I know it is for benefits. I am just pointing out how silly it is that people who get SSA are typically referred to as having a "fixed income" where in fact, SSA employees income is actually the one fixed.

@12:31...I have complained to the people that actually make the law (congress and president). While the President is will to raise wages for government employees, Congress is not.

Anonymous said...

yep, Congress won't approve a COLA increase for federal employees, but finds no problem providing pay raises for themselves and increasing the number of and pay for congressional staff. Who cares if the GS, etc., payscales don't get a COLA when you can raise your salary and the salaries of those who work for you?

Anonymous said...

And then the employees on the fixed income get to listen to the public complain that their COLA is too small! Um, no sympathy here!

Anonymous said...

@ 4:41 PM, October 21, 2014 and others

Out of curiousity.

How much does a claim representative
get paid or how much does the average SSA employee get paid?

If it's over $30,000 a year,i suspect many beneficiaries receiving $12,000 or less have no sympathy for you either.

Anonymous said...

There's a fundamental question/belief we kind of dance around but don't address.

Do we as a society want to make a system that keeps people who are disabled (by birth, due to accident, wear and tear--whatever the reason) out of poverty, out of relative poverty, or at a level comparable to a minimum wage/living wage earner?

This is really important and I suspect people will be split. If you only believe that the disabled are entitled to a lifeline that ensures they don't languish and die in the streets (but nothing more), then COLAs, etc. are not going to be that important to you. You see these benefits as a bare bones lifeline.

But if you envision a society with disability benefits that place recipients on par with the lowest/average/whatever worker, you obviously will feel differently about these issues.

I think to better adjust social security as a whole we need to first talk about and decide as a society what we want our disability program (and retirement program, for that matter) to actually do. Otherwise we have various groups of people vying for changes that are consistent with the varied ideas of what benefits are meant to do, and that seems very inefficient.

Anonymous said...

I remember top GS pay levels once were GS10 for CRs, GS11 for supervisors, and GS12 or 13 for almost all managers. Then grade increases came and a new ladder of step increases, then "special categories" for CR type work increasing grades from GS11 to GS12 for former CRs. Let's not forget the alphabet soup of new positions, mostly in area, regional and HQ offices. Overtime pay, off and on, promotions or re-categorizations or new positions, and awards are something those on fixed Title II income do not receive. I know there are many variables, but compare the total yearly pay received each year over several years by an SSA employee with what they receive now vs. total yearly benefits received by someone receiving Title II and get a fairer perspective of changing yearly income.

According to http://www.ssa.gov/news/press/basicfact.html Dec 2013 data shows $1,294 average monthly benefit for retired workers and $1,146 average monthly benefit for disabled workers.
A 1.7% COLA increase to these folks looks mighty small compared to the money received by SSA employees, many who receive additional income from overtime, awards, step and grade increases, etc. during the year.

Anonymous said...

I'll concede that in practice all of those things do not always flow how they should, but all the "extras" you listed for employees are things that are earned or that are meant to compensate better/more work. They are not meant to and do not account for the increase in cost of living. That's why those things are still around (save for budget crazy years like recent ones) even when Fed pay sees a COLA increase.

Apples and oranges.