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Reading man says Social Security boost not enough

23 October 2016

"After last year's zero COLA, this year's announcement doesn't offer much help to the millions of families who depend on their Social Security benefits". With 70 percent of Medicare recipients shielded from any premium increase because Social Security benefits are only rising slightly, the entire obligation of paying for the increased Medicare costs is falling on the other 30 percent who are not protected from premium increases.

The maximum amount of Social Security tax a taxpayer could pay will therefore increase from $7,347 in 2016 to $7,886.40 in 2017, an increase of $539.40.

Ali Velshi, MSNBC anchor and economics correspondent. For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums.

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"My first reaction was, 'Oh no, now no one's going to pay attention to Social Security, ' which is actually a really important conversation and a topic that hasn't gotten enough attention in this election season", she told The Talk hosts. But in recent years, inflation as measured by the government's Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) has been nearly non-existent, averaging just 1.2 percent per year since 2010, less than half the 3 percent inflation averaged the decade prior to 2010. The average retiree's monthly benefit is now $1,305.30. More than 60 million retirees, disabled workers, spouses and children rely on monthly Social Security benefits. Because of this and the COLA, the maximum possible Social Security benefit at full retirement age is increasing from $2,639 to $2,687. The limit increases from $15,720 a year to $16,920 for 2017, after which $1 in benefits is withheld for every $2 earned above the limit.

The $4 is still higher than past year, when payments didn't rise at all.

Reading man says Social Security boost not enough