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Provisions Affecting Cost of Living Adjustment

Information on the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA)

An annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) applies to benefits after initial eligibility. We provide a summary list of all options in this category. For each provision listed below, we provide an estimate of the financial effect on the OASDI program over the long-range period (the next 75 years) and for the 75th year. In addition, we provide graphs and detailed single year tables.

All estimates are based on the intermediate assumptions described in the 2010 Trustees Report. Choose the type of estimates (summary or detailed) from the list of provisions.

Number Table and graph selection
A1 Beginning in December 2011, reduce the annual COLA by 1 percentage point.
Summary measures and graphs   (PDF version)
Detailed single year tables   (PDF version)
Memorandum containing the provision (effective dates may be different)
A2 Beginning in December 2011, reduce the annual COLA by 0.5 percentage point.
Summary measures and graphs   (PDF version)
Detailed single year tables   (PDF version)
Memorandum containing the provision (effective dates may be different)
A3 (2011) Starting with the December 2011 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), compute the COLA using a chained version of the consumer price index for wage and salary workers (CPI-W). This new computation is estimated to result in an annual COLA that is 0.3 percentage point less, on average.
Summary measures and graphs   (PDF version)
Detailed single year tables   (PDF version)
Memorandum containing the provision (effective dates may be different) (Social Security Advisory Board)
Memorandum containing the provision (Fiscal Commission)
A3 (2012) Starting with the December 2012 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), compute the COLA using a chained version of the consumer price index for wage and salary workers (CPI-W). This new computation is estimated to result in an annual COLA that is 0.3 percentage point less, on average.
Summary measures and graphs   (PDF version)
Detailed single year tables   (PDF version)
Memorandum containing the provision (effective dates may be different)
A4 Starting with the December 2013 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), compute the COLA using a chained version of the consumer price index for wage and salary workers (CPI-W). This new computation is estimated to result in an annual COLA that is 0.3 percentage point less, on average. The new COLA would not apply to DI benefits and would apply for all OASI benefits, except for those who are converted from disabled worker to retired worker status.
Summary measures and graphs   (PDF version)
Detailed single year tables   (PDF version)
Memorandum containing the provision
A5 Beginning December 2011, add 1 percentage point to the annual cost-of-living adjustment for OASDI monthly benefits for beneficiaries who have lived past a "specified age", which reflects their age 65 life expectancy. The "specified age" is based on the beneficiary's year of birth and is determined as the sum of: (1) 65 and (2) the unisex cohort life expectancy at age 65 for the Social Security area population with the same year of birth as the beneficiary.
Summary measures and graphs   (PDF version)
Detailed single year tables   (PDF version)
Memorandum containing the provision
A6 Starting with the December 2012 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), compute the COLA based on changes in the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E). Use of this CPI series is estimated to result in an annual COLA that is 0.2 percentage point higher, on average, than using the consumer price index for urban wage and clerical workers (CPI-W).
Summary measures and graphs   (PDF version)
Detailed single year tables   (PDF version)
Memorandum containing the provision

Above provisions
Summary measures
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Last reviewed or modified February 28, 2011