October 13, 2021

Statement by Retiree Leader Richard Fiesta on the 5.9% COLA Increase for Social Security Beneficiaries

The following statement was issued by Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, regarding the announcement that there will be a 5.9% 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 relieved that the nation’s nearly 65 million Social Security beneficiaries can expect a 5.9% COLA increase in 2022 after decades of miniscule increases.

“The increase will amount to an additional $92 a month for the average retired worker. However, as welcome as this news is, too many older Americans will continue to struggle to make ends meet.

“We are calling on Congress to pass President Biden’s Build Back Better Act and include a provision allowing Medicare to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs in the package and lower the amount that beneficiaries are paying at the pharmacy counter. The savings from these negotiations should be used to add guaranteed Medicare dental, hearing and vision benefits.

“It’s also time to strengthen and expand Social Security. We can modestly increase benefits by making the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share if we remove the artificial earnings cap that is currently $142,800 per year.

“This would strengthen the Social Security Trust Fund while providing all retirees with increased benefits. Congress should also 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 this change will result in fairer COLAs every year, not just every few decades.”


Contact: David Blank – dblank@retiredamericans.org

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