Social Security Cost of Living Increase Will be 5.9 Percent in 2022

The increase, a cost-of-living adjustment that applies to about 70 million Americans, comes as consumer prices have jumped sharply.

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Social Security benefits will rise 5.9 percent in 2022, the most in four decades.

The increase in Social Security benefits is the largest since 1982.Credit…Octavio Jones/Getty Images

By Mohammed Hadi

Oct. 13, 2021Updated 9:53 a.m. ET

Social Security benefits will increase 5.9 percent in 2022, the Social Security Administration said on Wednesday, an increase that applies to about 70 million Americans.

The increase, a cost of living adjustment, comes as consumer prices in the United States have seen their sharpest increase in years. The adjustment is tied to the Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index, which rose 5.4 percent in September, from a year earlier.

Inflation has accelerated this year as the global economy recovered from pandemic-driven lockdowns. Early on, the price gains were driven by rebounding airfares, rates and other items that had seen a collapse in demand in 2020. More recently, shortages of products or challenges transporting them to consumers have added to the gains.
The prices gains in September’ came as housing prices firmed, and as food — especially meat and eggs — cost consumers more.

The Social Security adjustment is the largest in four decades, AARP chief executive Jo Ann Jenkins said in a statement following the announcement.

“The guaranteed benefits provided by Social Security and the COLA increase are more crucial than ever as millions of Americans continue to face the health and economic impacts of the pandemic,” Ms. Jenkins said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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