Social Security

2014 Social Security COLA; recipients should not expect large (or any) cost of living increase in 2014



Look here for latest latest information based on July CPI-W.

Update August 1, 2013

Here is an update on the likely Social Security COLA for 2014. This is based on the CPI-W for the months of April, May and June. The average for those months is 229.45. That is compared with the average for July, August and September of 2012 which was 226.936. Based on the change in those averages, the COLA would be 1.10% for 2014. Note that there was a slight increase in the CPI-W in June to 230.002. The actual 2014 COLA will be based on the average of the CPI-W for July, August and September compared with the same period in 2012.

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UPDATE: July 2013. What the White House projects for 2014 COLA

If the Social Security COLA calculation was done today, the COLA for 2014 would be slightly less than 1%

The base for the calculation is the average CPI-W for the third quarter of 2012. That average is 226.936.

The average for the CPI-W for February, March and April 2013 is 228.983. The difference between the two numbers is 2.047 or a .9020% difference.

UPDATE: JUNE 18, 2013

The CPI-W for May 2013 is 229.399 generating a three-month average for March, April and May of 229.223 which results in a 2014 Social Security COLA of 1%


However, all indications now are that inflation will remain low. In April 2013 inflation actually dropped by .2% (mostly because of gasoline prices).

If the 2014 COLA is very low or if there is none, this is bad news for Medicare beneficiaries who pay the supplemental Part B and D premiums. This is because their premiums will increase regardless of a COLA whereas the majority of Social Security beneficiaries are prevented by law from any Medicare premium increase that would reduce their monthly SS benefit. That is, a premium increase greater than the dollar value of a COLA. To make matters worse for the higher income folks, if there is no premium increase for the majority of seniors, the ones paying the supplemental premiums must pay more than normal to pick up the difference for those protected from an increase.

As you can see below, the supplemental premiums kick in at an income greater than $85,000 for a single person.


$85,000 may be a good income relative to many on Social Security, but it is no millionaire or billionaire as the popular phrase goes. In addition to the above premiums, these individuals pay a supplemental Part D premium as well.

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49 replies »

  1. I usually do not leave a response, however I read some of the remarks here 2014 Social Security COLA; recipients should not expect large (or any) cost of living increase in
    2014 | quinnscommentary. I do have a few questions for you if you do not mind.
    Could it be only me or does it look like a few of the remarks appear as if they are left by brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are posting at other online sites, I’d like to keep up
    with everything new you have to post. Would you make a list of every one of your
    social pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

  2. What’s on my mind is the fact that we lost two years of our C.O.L.A.,and then when we did get one,it was so low. Does Congress think they could live on this small amount?? If so,let them try it.Is this a world gone mad,do they want to take EVERYTHING AWAY FROM US?? I HATE LIKE HELL depending on them and I wish I didn’t have to,but I am a retired senior. If 20 year olds can’t get work,would I??I hope whatever goes around,comes around.and it should come around to them.Karma.They will get theirs.

    • Congress does not determine each years COLA. The formula was set into law over twenty years ago and is based on the overall increase in inflation.

  3. Seems like we should get all the ones that don’t deserve their SSDI out. That is as long as you get yours. Right? I get SSDI and my wife and I are living on less than 12,000 dollars a year. She is in worse shape than me. I am crippled to the point of not being able to stand or walk for more than a few minutes. But we are still fighting for her SSDI. Both worked better than 30 years each. But don’t worry. We;’ll make sure you get yours.

  4. In a nut shell, the U.S. Government is committing genocide. Against the only segment of the population that has little, to no defense against this atrocity. America what is happening to it’s Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness?

    • It seems to me that Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness does not and never did include guaranteed payments to us from the government. Quite the contrary, they guarantee the ability to provide for ourselves and to achieve to our own ability. If we rely on the government, we will surely be disappointed…even when we have contributed to the promise we think is there.

  5. The Social Security Trust Fund was put into a General Fund where any agency could use it. That is why they say it is broke. If the Government would pay back what they owe Social Security, Social Security would be much more fluid for us Seniors. When we put into the fund while working we expect it to be there, but I believe it was during the Reagan administration that it was moved to the General Fund . I don’t know where it stands now, however, we had plenty of money in the Fund before it was moved – what all of us have put into. They owe us just like China, but our fund never gets reimbursed for what they took in the General Fund. As for COLA’s for 2014. Have you noticed gas prices going down? food prices being cut somewhat – well – it may be good for all of us, but it also effects our COLA and Government is waiting for the costs of September to calculate our COLA’s – funny how that works that it is always when we are calculated for an increase that these prices fall! As for Congress – it is up to the American people to get rid of the people in Congress when you vote! I personally think that Congressmen should have the same terms as the President a maximum of 8 years. I believe that is most of the problem with Congress do nothing people! How we would ever get that vote on the agenda is beyond me, however, Congressmen shouldn’t profit from being our representatives, they should speak up for our individual States as we ask them to and stop this nonsense of holding the government down with do nothings in there. I wish I knew how we could change term time frame of our Congressmen to be a term maximum, but I think it has to be presented to Congress and good luck with them approving that! It would however, cut them receiving enormous amount of $’s upon retirement, and with term limits perhaps the Congress would work harder also bring fresh ideas from newly elected representatives, yet not allowing a monopoly and a do nothing Congress!!

    • You are right about term limits, but wrong about Social Security and Congressional pensions. First, pensions are not overly generous on average they are around 40% of pay after many years of service.

      Second, the SS trust was not transferred to the general fund. When incoming taxes exceeded the amount needed to pay current benefits (which is no longer the case) the excess was used to buy interest paying special treasury bonds, much like you buying a savings bond. Today both the incoming taxes and the interest in those bonds are used to pay benefits. In a few years the SS Trust will need to redeem those bonds to pay benefits and the Treasury will have to borrow more to redeem the bonds (just as it does if you cash in a savings bond). At some point all the bonds will be redeemed and the incoming taxes will only cover 75% of the benefits being paid.

      The problem is not with where the money is, but rather there is not enough money to meet all the promises made. The separate trust for disability SS will be depleted in about three years.

  6. Well I live in GA and I am very made because Our GOVERMENT can set their and Go after all the seaquester for the poor because of his Tax incress on the Rich people lost their HUD HOUSEING as well as food stamp’s Cut’s I mean I am tire of the way that the US GOVERMENT act’s like Kids.

  7. Every Medicare recipient is mandated to purchase a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan through a private insurance company or pay a penalty tax. Sound familiar? Implemented in 2005 with hardly a whimper..The difference? Not one Democrat voted for it..because there were no provisions to bid on medications (allowed by the VA) and it wasn’t paid for adding to the deficit $800 billion over a ten year period. Democrats did not sue their own body of government for passing it…nor attempt to repeal it forty times with a cost of $55 million. COLA is based on a certain calculation that is not set by Congress every year…but has remained the same for decades.. The author of this article is being disingenuous to present a scenario that the higher income individual must pay more because the lower income individual does not. Somehow presenting an individual whose income is over $85,000 and paying a $140 a month premium is unfair, but anyone making less (average Social Security monthly benefit is around $1000 a month) is mooching paying $105 a month. They too must pay a Medicare Part D premium as well averaging around $35 a month. The author also neglected to include that only half of an individuals Social Security benefit is claimed as income when doing their return each year.

    • You are incorrect. Part D is not mandatory for anyone. In addition, up to 85% of the Social Security benefit is taxable income.

  8. I can’t believe that there won’t be an increase in 2014. I can’t live on my ssdi of $735 a month as it is. I’m losing my car at the end of this month and my house will be next.

    • At this point the CPI numbers indicate an increase of about 2%, but I wouldn’t count on more or depending on what happens in August and September, even that much.

  9. All politicians are crooked and what if their retirement was in question, they would do something about it. No senior citizens should ever VOTE again!

    • i believe this response is a dirty trick by the dirty trick party, my response is get out vote ,your vote counts, kick those extremist out

  10. ………… pays to be a foreigner. I’m a white American male, on a permanent disability. I’d be worth more dead.

  11. I’m collecting social security, and am still working. when does the government decide what increase if any happen.

    • It will be announced around 3rd week in October. After the CPI-W for September is known.


      Richard D Quinn Editor

    • You may be right, but we keep electing the same ones over and over again.


      Richard D Quinn Editor

  12. Every time I go to the grocery, pharmacy and gas stations there are substantial increases.
    Also my rent keeps going up and average of 5% yearly. Yet we get no reprieve from COLA! Why is this? We seniors fought wars and built this country and now we are being penalized. The system must change so we that have worked hard for many years and paid substantial taxes are somehow helped in our golden years! How about all those deadbeats who are on disability and do not deserve it. Why not have each one on disability be reviewed each year? Get these bums of SS!!!!!


    • @ richard u do not know jack about disability . i have work hard all my life and served 6 years in the military and i am diasabled. untill u walk in a disabled persons shoes.So can you even tell us who the bums are???No you can’t.Such rude people as your self,need to get the facts correct,other wise stay off this site!!

  13. No offense, but if someone is making more than $85,000 a year, they can easily afford $105 a month. No one says $85,000 a year is millionaire status, but it is certainly a damn good living. I am on social security and live on $10,000 a year. 85k a year is more than $7000 a month, and I’m sorry, anyone could easily live on that much. $105 a month is only about 1.5% of such a person’s monthly income, barely a drop in the bucket. Contrast that with someone like me, where $105 a month is 12.6% of my monthly income.

    No, $85k a year certainly doesn’t make someone a millionaire… but it is also nowhere near the poverty line. Not even close.

    • Of course you are right, it isn’t near the poverty line.

      In fact, I have no concept of how one lives on $10,000 a year. My property taxes on a modest home on a 50×120 lot where I have lived for over 35 years are $12,000 a year.

  14. Hey, that could be me with that metal detector on our beach, trying to make ends meet! I usually find beer can tabs, pieces of eye glasses and other junk. I hear stories of people finding ship wreck coins and like that, but I think they are just stories. Once in a while I find a nickle or penny. Gotta keep searching, no COLA this year!

      • That is true, he told me of finding the diamond ring here on Melbourne Beach. How did you know that?

      • I don’t know because that picture was taken in Chatham, Mass. Are you saying you saw the same guy in Florida?

  15. Government gets their raises but they no longer care about the senior Citizen because we are of no use to them. CUT THE SLARIES OF ALL GOVERMENTAL EMPLOYEES AND GIVE SENIORS AT LEAST SOME TYPE OF COST OF LIVING RAISE.

    • Why? Why do we seniors deserve more than government employees?

      In fact, government workers have not been receiving raises in recent years and their retiree COLA is linked to the SS COLA calculation.

      The fact is Social Security COLA is simply a reflection of inflation, but even if inflation dictated a raise, the trust fund can’t afford it.

      • In many cases government retirees cost of living increase is based on a maximum fixed amount which is less than their full pension amount which further reduces the percentage increase of a cola. In many cases quite dramatically.

      • Darliang, there is no trust fund. It was raided years and years ago. However, I.O.U’s abound. Goats could do well with those.

      • That simply is not true. Saying there is no trust fund is like saying your US Savings Bonds are worthless. While there is no pool of money somewhere isolated to pay Social Social Security benefits, the Trust holds special Treasury Bonds which are an obligation of the federal government just like a Savings Bond or other Treasury investments which people buy. Those bonds were purchased when the incoming payroll taxes exceeded the amount needed to pay benefits. That is no longer true so now both incoming taxes and interest on those bonds are used to pay benefits. At some point the Trust will have to start redeeming bonds to pay benefits and that’s when the trouble starts because absent change, when the bonds are all redeemed the incoming taxes will be sufficient to pay only about 75% of the accrued benefits. It has nothing to do with raiding the Trust, it has to do with demographics and generous benefits.

      • The trust fund was tweaked during the Reagan Administration to prepare for the baby boomers. It raised the rate of the payroll tax to around 15%, shared equally between employee and employer. It also raised the retirement age to (gradually increase to 67 years). Federal. Other provisions included in The Social Security Amendments of 1983 were: Income above $25,000 a year..part of the SS benefits will be taxed. Federal employees/Congress/the legislative branch/federal judges would be required to pay SS tax. This was estimated to increase the SS Trust Fund one trillion dollars. It was spent during the G.W. Bush administration leaving a $1.2 trillion deficit when he left office. However, our government has never reneged on its debt and Social Security benefits will be paid. Social Security did not add to the debt or deficit.

      • The Trust Fund was not spent by anyone. The Trust Fund invests in government bonds and is paid interest on those bonds which is used to pay benefits. The Trust is thus a creditor of the government, the proceeds of the bond sales are used for general expenses just like when you buy a US Savings bond. The problem is that when the bonds are redeemed to pay benefits (because incoming taxes and interest are insufficient) as will start happening in the near future, the government must go deeper in debt to make those payments to the Trust. It used to be that benefits were paid only from incoming Social Security taxes. Those taxes are no longer sufficient to do so. The Trust no longer has funds to buy new bonds as it did in the past.

      • Social Security most certainly is adding to the federal debt because the Trust must shortly redeem bonds. When incoming taxes were sufficient to pay benefits and buy bonds you are correct, there was no affect on the debt. However, while the government is running a deficit and then must redeem SS bonds on top of that, it adds to the federal debt. Where else does the cash come from to give to the Trust?

      • If the Social Security Administration would stop giving our social security money to people who should not be getting it because of the SS Admin error, there would be lots of money to give to workers who paid into it for years and years.

    • I think for a change Congress shouldn’t be allowed to vote themselves a raise – instead Social Security recipients should be able to vote themselves a raise for one year (with the same rules that Congress has). It will be interesting the following year when Congress gets to vote themselves a raise again!

      • That may be a way to quickly bankrupt the Country. Congress hadn’t seen a pay raise since 2009, but got a raise of up to one percent in March 2013.

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