Social Security beneficiaries are projected to receive a 2.2% cost-of-living increase next year, the most since 2011, the trustees who oversee the program said Thursday.
That would be about $30 a month for the average retired worker. But It's a relative bonanza compared to the 0.3% adjustment for this year and the unchanged paychecks in 2016. The cost of living adjustments have been low because of unusually weak inflation in recent years.
Social Security officials will release the official cost-of-living increase for Social Security recipients in October.
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Meanwhile, the trust fund that pays Social Security benefits to 61 million Americans is projected to be depleted by 2034, the same forecast as last year, but the solvency of funds for disability and Medicare benefits has improved somewhat, the Social Security Board of Trustees said Thursday.
Benefits for recipients would be cut if nothing is done before 2034 to shore up the Social Security fund. At that time, there would be enough income to pay 77% of scheduled benefits.
“It is time for the public to engage in the important national conversation about how to keep Social Security strong,” said Nancy Berryhill, acting commissioner of Social Security.
The Social Security disability trust fund is in better shape than the combined reserves and is now projected to be depleted in 2028, compared to last year’s estimate of 2023. And the Medicare trust fund is expected to run out in 2029, a year later than last year’s forecast.
While the combined trust funds increased by $35 billion in 2016 to a total $2.85 trillion and will continue to grow through 2021, the total annual cost of the program is projected to exceed income beginning in 2022, Social Security officials said.
Social Security paid $911 billion in benefits in 2016.
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