Next boost of Social Security likely 3 percent

Next boost of Social Security likely 3 percent

The Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2024 may be about 3 percent, based on consumer price data.

The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), an advocacy organization for seniors, based the estimated increase on economic data in July. AARP, citing economic analysts at the Bipartisan Policy Center, has projected the same size COLA. 

Overall, the inflation rate in July was lower than a year ago. However, most older Americans report that persistently high prices still affect their household budgets, according to results from a new survey by TSCL.

July CPI data is important because the COLA is calculated based on inflation during the year’s third quarter (July, August, and September),as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. Inflation for those three months is added together and averaged, then compared with the third quarter average from one year ago. The percentage difference between the two is the amount of the COLA, which would be payable for the check received in January 2024. 

A COLA of 3 percent would raise an average monthly benefit of $1,789 by $53.70.

For 2023, Social Security recipients received the highest COLA (8 percent) in more than 40 years. The year before that, the increase was 5.9 percent, according to TSCL’s survey in July.