CPI-W trend slightly higher indicating modest Social Security COLA in 2015

230.326; that’s the number that forms the base for any increase in Social Security benefits for 2015. Compare that number to the average CPI-W for the months of July, August and September 2015.

The CPI-W has increased slightly in the last two months. In March it was 232.560 and in April it was 233.443. For the month, the index rose 0.4 percent prior to seasonal adjustment. That’s an average of 233.001 which is 1.16% higher than the base.


  1. I retired at 62 and I’m glad I did. Medical insurance was expensive until I reached the magical Medicare age of 65, but I had 401 K withdrawals to make up the difference. Now, my after tax income is more than what I would be making had I continued teaching until age 66. The year after I retired, Florida began deducting 3% for the state’s pension plan. I never had to suffer with that deduction. I was able to put money into a 401K (403B) for years. My IRA would have been underfunded if I had to also contribute 3% of my salary for the state pension. In Florida we receive an automatic 3% cost of living increase to our pensions each July. After I retired, the state (under Rick Scott) began to reduce the COLA subsequently for each year. 2.9, 2.8, 2.7, etc until 0…No COLA at all. My 3% is for life. There were many advantages for retiring at 62 instead of 66. I’m glad I completed my 30 years and was able to have full state retirement at age 62.


    1. You are very lucky. That is a generous benefit compared with what most Americans have, including those working for large companies in the private sector. I wonder how well funded your pension is and what taxpayers think of those benefits?


  2. Quinn

    What is your take on when to take retirement Social Security benefits ?

    There are tons of articles advising people to delay SS to increase their benefit per month.

    However, the break even age is sometimes greater than one’s personal life expectancy…
    and none of the articles I’ve read discuss the tax implications… especially the double-impact
    of delaying to age 70 for a bigger SS payout at the same age mandatory IRA distribution rules
    kick in. That appears to be a win/win tax windfall for the government.

    Me, I’m taking SS this year at age 62. Neither of my parents lived past the break even age
    and my sister died at age 66. Also, since I have no debt and live in a less expensive part of
    the country, I can live comfortably by supplementing my SS with just enough IRA withdrawals
    per year to keep me below the tax radar.



    1. I waited until age 66, but I believe that anyone who does not absolutely need the money should delay as long as possible for one reason; they are likely to need the greater income later in life than at age 62-65 or 66. Inflation and longevity are the greatest risks in retirement.

      I don’t think the so-called break even point is relevant. Isn’t the monthly income more important to the individual than the total collected in a lifetime? Some people will collect for decades, others for a year or two, that is the actuarial risk and what is factored in the overall experience of the program. This is essentially a pension plan with no limits on benefits and participants funding half (actually less) of the cost.


      Richard D Quinn

      Blog http://www.quinnscommentary.com Twitter @quinnscomments



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