October 10, 2019

Statement by Retiree Leader Richard Fiesta on the 1.6% 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 1.6% 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 that 63 million Social Security beneficiaries will receive a paltry 1.6% benefit increase in 2020.

“While any COLA (cost-of-living-adjustment) helps a little, 1.6%  is not nearly to keep up with the escalating cost of prescription drugs and other expenses. One in four older Americans report that they are not taking a prescription their doctor prescribed due to cost. Retirees deserve to live in dignity in retirement without worrying about paying for basic necessities.

“To help seniors and strengthen Social Security, we need to expand the program and increase benefits.  We can do this by making the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share through removing the artificial earnings cap. Doing so would strengthen the Social Security Trust Fund and provide all retirees with increased benefits and 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.”

For details on pending federal legislation to expand Social Security, please download our fact sheet.

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Contact: David Blank – 202/637-5275 or dblank@retiredamericans.org

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