Inflation and Social Security: Next Year’s COLA

By: Anneken Tappe · September 28, 2023 · Reading Time: 2 minutes

Cost-of-Living Adjustment

Social Security checks typically increase by a cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, increasing the amount of each check to reflect the price environment and inflation.

Last year, Social Security checks received a notable 8.7% bump amid the highest inflation in decades. Next year’s COLA probably won’t be nearly as big.

Next Year’s Projections

The Social Security Administration won’t officially announce 2024’s COLA until October, when September’s Consumer Price Index is released around the middle of the month. But there are projections: The Senior Citizen’s League forecasts a COLA of 3.2% for next year’s checks, based on the most recent inflation data.

Currently, the average Social Security check is just below $1,800 per month, so a 3.2% increase would add about $57 to each check.

That may seem like a drop in the bucket compared to last year’s hike, but the average COLA over the past twenty years has been just 2.6%. That means the expected increase for next year would still be well above average.

Breaking Down the COLA

A smaller cost-of-living adjustment might be disappointing for Social Security recipients. But it also reflects a slowing pace of inflation, which is a good thing for American consumers as a whole.

It’s worth noting the 3.2% is just a projection. Be on the lookout for the Social Security Administration’s official COLA announcement next month.

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