What You Need to Know
With the final inflation data published for the third quarter, the Social Security Administration has set the final 2024 cost-of-living adjustment.
Despite persistent inflation, the COLA formula means next year’s adjustment will be far smaller than the near-record 8.7% increase enjoyed by beneficiaries this year.
Even with the annual COLA for 2024 set at 3.2%, it will likely be hard for retirees to keep up with inflation.
The Social Security Administration’s 2024 cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security beneficiaries will be 3.2%.
The annual COLA is based on inflation data for the third quarter, through September.
The consumer price index data for September, released Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows inflation ran at 3.7% over the past 12 months before a seasonal adjustment and was up 0.4% during September on a seasonally adjusted basis.
While smaller than 2023’s near-record increase of 8.7%, a COLA of this size is well above the 2.6% average over the past 20 years.
How the Social Security COLA Is Calculated
The Social Security Administration uses average inflation in the third quarter, based on the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W), to calculate the benefit adjustment for the following year.
The 3.2% figure for 2024 is roughly in line with analysts’ projections made during the year.