elderly couple on stack of coins

Social Security: Lawmakers propose increase for 2021

In response to the Social Security Administration approving a cost-of-living adjustment increase of just over 1 percent for 2021, two lawmakers have introduced emergency legislation calling for a higher income boost for beneficiaries, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During a pandemic, people are relying on their benefits now more than ever, and the reality is most seniors face cost increases each year even beyond what’s reflected in the COLA,” House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B Larson (D-Conn.), wrote in a news release.

Larson introduced the legislation along with Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

The bill, (H.R.8598), provides a 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income to recipients in 2021, up from the 1.3 percent COLA approve by the SSA.

According to DeFazio, the Senior Citizens League reports that the 1.3 percent increase is the second lowest COLA in recent history, as they have averaged 3 percent between 1999 and 2009.

The bill takes into account what seniors actually spend on items such as medical expenses, food, and housing by creating a new COLA formula. “Under this new index, called the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), a retiree or widow would experience benefits that are 6 percent higher by the time they reach age 90,” Larson said.

“Our bill, the Social Security 2100 Act, enacts the CPI-E formula for adjustments to ensure the COLA reflects the rise in costs seniors are facing,” He added.

Nancy Altman, president of Social Security Works, said, “Social Security’s automatic cost of living adjustment is one of its most valuable features, even more so in the middle of a pandemic. But due to an inadequate measure, Social Security's modest benefits are eroding,” and this legislation offsets that erosion.

Reader comments

Thu, Oct 29, 2020

If we reduce the number of congressional and senate representatives to 1 per state, the nation would be able to adjust the retirement COLAS. Also reduce the salaries of these do nothing minions and have a term limit.

Mon, Oct 26, 2020 Maureen Las Vegas

Just buying the everyday needed items has been a struggle for most seniors! Paying to have groceries delivered to prevent COVID infection, not to mention many stores being out of stock for needed items and having to purchase items online through Amazon, etc. the prices are higher than at the stores. Even toilet paper, water, and canned food have been a costly struggle this year! These prices have not been calculated as part of the CPI-E formula! Many elderly will be homeless if this is the new normal for us!

Fri, Oct 23, 2020

Hot ail and talk, talk, talk. Cut the flatulence that congress and senate exudes on a daily basis. This is where the real carbon imprint comes from, stale hot bilious emissions coming from the minion squad known as elected officials. Get real and do your jobs and Schumer, Pelosi, Paul, Cortez and others speak less and you may contribute less to the political smog that engulfs this nation.

Wed, Oct 21, 2020 Honolulu

It would be nice, who will pay for the increase.

Wed, Oct 21, 2020 Gary Michigan

As a retired Federal Employee our COLA has eroded because of the increase in our health insurance and Medicare monthly premiums over the years. Congress needs to adopt a better way to reflect future COLA increases and move to a CPI-E model.

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2020 Digital Almanac

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