Social Security checks could rise by most since 2012

After nearly a decade of little to no increases in Social Security benefits, next year may be the year retirees’ checks finally rise.

The Senior Citizens League, a nonpartisan senior advocacy organization, forecasts benefits will jump by 2.8 percent in 2019 – which would be the largest increase in seven years. That is slightly down from the group’s previous forecast of 3 percent, but would still boost the average beneficiary’s check by $39 per month – and raise the current maximum benefit collected by someone who retires at full retirement age by about $78 per month.

The cost of living adjustment was 2 percent in 2018, or $26 per month on average, but was perceived to be offset by increases in Medicare costs. Medicare Part B premiums are projected to increase by about $1.50 a month to $135.50 per month in 2019.

The 2018 Social Security benefits increase followed a 0.3 percent rise in 2017 and no increase in 2016.

Cost of living adjustments are implemented in order to counteract the effects of inflation.

The Social Security Administration will announce the cost of living adjustment next month. The agency declined to comment on the report.