October 18, 2016
Statement by Retiree Leader Richard Fiesta on the 0.3% COLA Increase for Social Security Beneficiaries
The following statement was issued by Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, regarding the government’s announcement that there will be a 0.3% COLA benefit increase for millions of Social Security beneficiaries, disabled veterans and federal retirees in 2017:
“The Alliance for Retired Americans is deeply disappointed by the announcement today that there will be a minuscule 0.3% benefit increase for millions of Social Security beneficiaries in 2017.
“For the average retiree, that means just a $5.00 per month increase, not enough to keep up with the cost of their prescription medications. This follows a 0% COLA in 2016. Most retirees are going to continue to have a hard time paying for basic necessities.
“That’s why Congress must expand earned Social Security benefits and change the formula used to calculate future COLAs to the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E).
“The CPI-E would base the calculation on what seniors actually spend their money on. That list includes items such as health care and housing, which account for most retirees’ spending.”