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Social Security rising 1.5%

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Posted: 3 pm ET

Social Security confirmed today that the average cost of living adjustment, or COLA, will be 1.5 percent in 2014 -- one of the lowest increases since the program was first adjusted for inflation in 1975.

To put this in perspective: In 1987 and 1999, the COLA was only 1.3 percent. There was no adjustment in either 2010 or 2011. The largest adjustment was in July 1980, when inflation drove up benefits 14.3 percent.

The average Social Security payment for an individual will rise $19 a month from $1,275 to $1,294. The average couple will get $31 more, their benefit rising from $2,080 to $2,111.

In some years, the Social Security increase brought about by the COLA was eaten up by an increase in Medicare Part B, which automatically is subtracted from most people's Social Security payments. In 2014, Medicare Part B, which covers doctor's office visits, won't rise from its current level of $104.90. That's good retirement planning news.

If you are strictly on the paying end of this and not yet ready for retirement, maximum taxable earnings on which Social Security payroll taxes are levied will rise in 2014 to $117,000, up from $113,700 in 2013. To qualify for Social Security, you must work a total of 40 quarters, earning at least $1,200 a quarter in 2014, up from $1,160 in 2013.

If you are between 62 and full retirement age -- 66 for people turning 62 in 2014 -- and you continue to work while claiming, you will have to pay back a portion of your Social Security payments if you earn more than $15,480 in 2014. That's up from $15,120 a year in 2013. The year that you reach full retirement age, you can earn as much as $41,400 without penalty, an increase of $1,320 from 2013.

The COLA also affects benefits for federal government retirees, disabled veterans and people who get Supplemental Security Income, the disability program for the poor.

Opposition to proposed COLA changes

Many organizations supporting improvements to Social Security are using today's announcement as an opportunity to explain why they think this year's COLA is unfair to middle-income people who are dependent on the program. They are particularly opposed to proposals to adopt the Chained Consumer Price Index, or Chained CPI, which would further reduce Social Security COLAs. A poll released by Democracy for America says that people across the political spectrum reject the Chained CPI, with 74 percent opposing it in red states like Kentucky; 64 percent against it in blue states like Hawaii; and 70 percent opposing it in swing or purple states like Iowa.

Another survey by the Senior Citizens League says that more than 78 percent of people older than 65 either favor, or somewhat favor, requiring workers with incomes higher than $117,000 in 2014 to pay Social Security taxes on all of their wages. If that were the case -- and people making more than $117,000 received no additional benefit from their additional taxes, the Social Security's Office of the Chief Actuary says the deficit would disappear. If there were no maximum earnings cap and additional benefits were paid to high earners, about 43 percent of the shortfall would be eliminated.

If we raised the cap on Social Security taxable income, how much -- if any -- additional Social Security benefits should be allocated to people who earn more than $117,000 a year? Or should this be a straight tax increase with no benefit increase to high earners?

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Marvin Ross
December 14, 2013 at 7:32 am

In my opinion there should be no cap on paying into the SS or at lest it should cap at $250,000 then the wealthy would be paying there share and a little more, This would work.

December 14, 2013 at 7:15 am

yes we poor people need help to when senaters congressmen an the other politicen want a raise the get it no question ask. please help us poor people. we don't know when or if our lights will be shut off an where we are going to get our next food order. all the people ive seen here with their answers is right.

Mary Jackson
December 14, 2013 at 5:55 am

The rich get richer and the poor get pooer.and according to the bible the rich man chances of getting into to heaven is as good as a chamble getting through the eye of a needle.Hey somebodies listening. Thank God for God and praise his holy name.

December 13, 2013 at 11:15 pm

If the people that make the decision on SS and Retirement benefits for the military would have served in the military at all, or have to live on the SS that they propose, it would be a different story. Our government has them at a higher standard where as they don't have to worry about this situation. The elderly and the veterans deserve more than what the government allows. They've been there to bring the younger generation along, they've been there, putting their lives on the line for our nation, and what do you "give" them in return, 1.7%. WHAT A JOKE. You don't see congress giving up their huge pay raise each and every year do you??? You don't see them giving up their lifestyles, do you??? You don't see them having to use the same system that they shove down our throat, ie taxes, SS, retirement, means of life, DO YOU?????? Our government needs to wake up and see what it is doing to their seniors, and veterans, and CORRECT THE PROBLEM!!!!!!

Henry Capurro
December 13, 2013 at 9:53 pm

I do not like illegal as much as the next person, but let's get real, illegals can not collect social security. If you want to know where our money went, think Vietnam war. That is what payed for that fiasco.

December 13, 2013 at 7:38 pm

They give 1.5%, but will the increase in medicare cost be more and take it all away from us plus more?

frank acito
November 13, 2013 at 7:40 pm

they taken two years of not giving us a increase now they are 1.5 increase with what the cost of food is today plus all that has gone up how in the world to they get 1.5 all the politic get there raises base on what it a shame they take from the elderly all the time yet they send money to all these country when they need it instead of giving here where its needed most it a disgrace whats happening and mr Obama is part of all this and the rest of the politic I like to see them live on what we get from ower social security It was a disgrace when Obama said rather then eat meat have chicken were the hell a president tells us what to eat

dave brown
November 13, 2013 at 6:43 pm

this is typical of the government to give peanuts to seniors on social security/seniors on social security cant just go out and get jobs/we worked for this money this is not a government handout/there is a lot of people in congress that needs to be weeded out of office/and where is AARP stance on this?lets take care of our seniors and veterans first before amnesty sets in/just saying my say/

Dorothy Rayner
November 13, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Our government has given away our monies to other people & countries who come into the USA get funds to send back to their families in other countries. The government will "never own up to the wrong they have done" because their pants & shirts has been stripped off by the foreigners who came and collected SSI, Social Security Benefits never paid a 'penny into the system'. The monies paid in by those who did not live to draw a penny what they earned. That is a shame and disgrace for the American People who have paid in and will not get what is due them. Until the people in Washington, DC step up to the plate and accept the wrong they have committed, nothing will never be corrected. We will fall short every year of receiving the inadequate C.O.L.A. increase due to each taxpayer who has paid into social security administration during our tenure of working. The government is making us pay for our own medical bills by charging each taxpayer for Medicare Part B, C, & D. This was paid while we were paying social security & our employer were matching the funds. That was double each payday, was it not??? Think about that information. When we pay for Medicare Part B, C, & D we will be short on funds for living each day & purchasing food & medicine. The monies received each month never match our "Economy", never will and never has. Look back and see how much economy has lowered their prices to match our paychecks.
We must deal with what is before us and move on. We will be taken care of and nothing will be shortened in our lives. The Government will never do what is right, as long as there is "selfish people" who only think about themselves".
I agree with some of you, but not everyone who left a comment. We each has a voice so speak up and continue speaking up. I am every chance I get. I will vote "NO" when I need to & vote "YES" when I need to. Do not forget democracy is: "By the people & for the people", who agree???? I am going to exercise my rights to a government that will listen eventually. They will listen one way or another.

November 13, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Well look at the biggest waste in this country,sending all theses idiots up to space for nothing.What a waste of taxpayers money NASA HAS AN OPEN CHECKBOOK.What a joke...........