Late last month, the Congressional Budget Office published a little-noticed estimate that forecasts seniors will receive just a 2.8 percent increase in their Social Security checks beginning in January, 2009.
Despite the increase, at least five million people aged 65 and over will remain in poverty, since senior costs are rising significantly faster than the annual Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA).
Between 2001 and 2008, Medicare Part B premiums have soared by more than 93 percent while the COLA has crept up just 19 percent, leaving many seniors on their own to cover all other rising costs. Part B premiums cover doctors' visits, tests, and outpatient hospital care.
Although the COLA is intended to help seniors keep up with inflation, a recent study by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) that analyzed eight key expenditures found that people 65 and over have lost 40 percent of their buying power since 2000. Expenses such as home heating oil and gasoline have more than doubled since the beginning of the decade, while food staples such as potatoes and butter have increased by 47 and 39 percent, respectively.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Group: Projected Social Security COLA is inadequate
The Senior Citizens League is criticizing a proposed Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that the advocacy group says will do nothing to alleviate the financial burdens of millions of retirees.