With a few of our industry rags shouting look out above for the Social Security COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) we took a deep dive into the SSA (Social Security Administration) methodology for the adjustment.
Pension Recipients with COLA adjustments you likely will be in the same boat of increases, depending on the index the COLA adjustment is marked against….ok digressing a bit, but wanted to get that thought out !
Social Security COLA Methodology
Basically the SSSA looks at the CPI – W in the third quarter of the year and compares it to the prior year and marks the new COLA Accordingly….
The fuss or cheer, is due to the dramatic increase in the CPI – W …that most recent print is 6.1% WOW!
The CPI – W
“The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) is based on the expenditures of households included in the CPI-U definition that meet two requirements: more than one-half of the household’s income must come from clerical or wage occupations, and at least one of the household’s earners must have been employed for at least 37 weeks during the previous 12 months. The CPI-W population represents about 29 percent of the total U.S. population and is a subset of the CPI-U population!”
From the latest BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) Here
Here is the SSA Methodology from their calculation pamphlet last year here https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10526.pdf
To determine the COLA, the average CPI-W for the third calendar quarter of the most recent year a COLA was determined is compared to the average CPI-W for the third calendar quarter of the current year. The resulting percentage increase, if any, represents the percentage that will be used to increase Social Security benefits beginning for December of the current year. SSI benefits increase by the same percentage the following month (January). If the increase in the CPI-W is at least one-tenth of one percent (0.1 percent), there will be a COLA. However, if the CPI-W increases by less than 0.05 percent, or if the CPI-W decreases, there won’t be a COLA.
Have a Great “COLA Adjustment Heads Up” Day!
John A. Kvale CFA, CFP
Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth