October 13, 2020

Statement by Retiree Leader Richard Fiesta on the 1.3% 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 1.3% cost-of-living (COLA) benefit increase for millions of Social Security beneficiaries, disabled veterans and federal retirees next year:

“The members of the Alliance for Retired Americans are disappointed and angry that 64 million Social Security beneficiaries will receive a paltry 1.3% benefit increase in 2021.

“While any COLA is better than nothing, 1.3% is not nearly enough to keep up with the escalating cost of prescription drugs and other expenses seniors have to spend their money on. Twenty-nine percent of Americans report that they are not taking a prescription their doctor prescribed due to cost and seniors are bearing the brunt of it.

“The coronavirus pandemic is also hitting many seniors hard. At least 16% of seniors who work have lost their job due to the coronavirus pandemic meaning Social security is a larger portion of their income.

“There is a better way. To help seniors and strengthen Social Security, we need to protect and expand the program. We can modestly increase benefits by making the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share by removing the artificial earnings cap. This would strengthen the Social Security Trust Fund and provide all retirees with increased benefits. Also, Congress should require future COLAs to be based on the CPI-E, the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly. The CPI-E reflects health care and housing costs, things that seniors actually spend their money on, and will result in a fairer COLA.”

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Contact: David Blank, dblank@retiredamericans.org

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