Retiree Leader: Social Security COLA Announcement Clouded by Looming Threat on Capitol Hill

October 19, 2011

“Super Committee” Considering Drastic Cut to Future Benefits

For Immediate Release

October 19, 2011

The following statement was issued today by Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans:

“Seniors are pleased by today’s announcement of a 3.6 percent Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for Social Security beneficiaries.  After two years of no increase, this will help retirees be better able to pay their bills and stay healthy.

“But today’s news is tempered by reports that the congressional “Super Committee” is considering changes to Social Security that will severely hinder retirees’ ability to keep pace with the rising cost of living.  The panel may recommend a new statistical formula for future COLAs, one that would grossly understate the growing financial pressures on retirees.

“What the proponents of the change clinically call a ‘Chained-CPI,’ is what millions of seniors would call ‘food, shelter, clothing.’  A recent study showed that, if this change took effect, a worker retiring this year at age 65 would lose $6,000 in benefits by age 80. 

“Social Security did not create our budget deficit – it is fully-funded by worker and employer payroll taxes.  It is inexcusable for politicians who never met a tax break they didn’t like to try to balance the budget on the backs of current and future retirees.

“Today’s COLA is good news for retirees, but I worry that it could be the last one many seniors ever see.  Workers and retirees must mobilize to protect the Social Security benefits millions of seniors count on to make ends meet.”


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Contact: David Blank (202) 637-5275 or dblank@retiredamericans.org