TN 9 (04-04)

RS 00601.120 Cost-Of-Living Adjustment (COLA)

A. Introduction

Beginning in 06/75, increases in Social Security benefits are based on increases in the cost of living. This helps maintain the purchasing power of the benefit once a person becomes eligible. Before then, general benefit increases were provided only by specific amendments. Beginning in 1983, the COLA is effective in December, rather than June, of the year. A COLA is due whenever the consumer price index (CPI) rises.

B. Policy -- benchmarking

1. Benchmark year after 1978

a. AIME PIA or transitional guarantee PIA

Beneficiaries entitled to an AIME PIA or a Transitional Guarantee PIA are entitled to any COLA which occurs in or after the benchmark year.

NOTE: Special rules apply in adding the COLA to a Frozen Minimum AIME PIA. See RS 00605.022.

b. Special minimum PIA

Beginning in 06/79, COLAs also apply to Special Minimum PIAs.

2. Benchmark year before 1979

For NHs who attain retirement age, become disabled, or die prior to 1979, all general benefit increases and automatic COLA's are applied. The benefit tables published in the Federal Register on or before November 1 of the year the increase is due contain the effect of all prior increases.

C. List of increases

Monthly benefits were first payable for 01/40. General benefit increases were enacted as indicated. Beginning 06/75, benefits are adjusted based on increases in the cost of living.

Effective Date of Increase

Minimum PIA *

Amount of Increase

9/50

$20.00

50% to 100% (Depending upon the previous PIB then in effect)

9/52

$25.00

12 1/2% or $5 (whichever is greater)

9/54

$30.00

$5.00

1/59

$33.00

7% (rounded to the nearest dollar and subject to a $3.00 minimum)

8/61

$40.00

Increase to the minimum benefit only

1/65

$44.00

7% or $4 (whichever is greater)

2/68

$55.00

13%

1/70

$64.00

15%

1/71

$70.40

10%

9/72

$84.50

20%

3/74

$90.50

7%

6/74

$93.80

11% increase over the 2/74 PIA and family maximum levels

6/75

$101.40

8% (first COL increase)

6/76

$107.90

6.4%

6/77

$114.30

5.9%

6/78

$121.80

6.5%

6/79

$133.90

9.9%

6/80

$153.10

14.3%

6/81

$170.30

11.2%

6/82

$182.90

7.4%

12/83

$189.30

3.5%

12/84

$195.90

3.5%

12/85

$201.90

3.1%

12/86

$204.50

1.3%

12/87

$213.00

4.2%

12/88

$221.50

4.0%

12/89

$231.90

4.7%

12/90

$244.40

5.4%

12/91

$253.40

3.7%

12/92

$261.00

3.0%

12/93

$267.70

2.6%

12/94

$275.10

2.8%

12/95

$282.20

2.6%

12/96

$290.30

2.9%

12/97

$296.30

2.1%

12/98

$300.10

1.3%

12/99

$307.30

2.4%

12/00

$318.00

3.5%

7/01

$318.30

0.1% is added to correct the 12/99 COLA for those eligible before 2000. See RS 00601.122 for information.

12/01

$326.50

2.6%

12/02

$331.00

1.4%

12/03

$337.90

2.1%

12/04

$347.00

2.7%

12/05

$361.20

4.1%

12/06

$373.10

3.3%

12/07

$381.60

2.3%

12/08$403.705.8%
12/11$418.203.6%
12/12$425.301.7%
12/13$431.601.5%

* For beneficiaries with benchmark years after 1978, the minimum PIA was frozen at $122.00. This minimum PIA was eliminated for nearly all beneficiaries with initial eligibility after 1981. The minimum PIAs shown here are for beneficiaries with a benchmark year prior to 1979.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0300601120
RS 00601.120 - Cost-Of-Living Adjustment (COLA) - 11/27/2013
Batch run: 11/27/2013
Rev:11/27/2013