The Social Security Administration will tell retirees on Thursday how much of a bump to expect in their checks next year, and some experts project it could be the biggest in years.
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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.
Cost of living adjustments, which began in 1975, are implemented in order to counteract the effects of inflation. Prior to that year, check amounts were determined by legislation.
The biggest increases went into effect in the years 1981 and 1982, at 14.3 percent and 11.2 percent, respectively.
The cost of living adjustment was 2 percent in 2018, or $26 per month on average, but was largely perceived to be offset by increases in Medicare costs. Medicare Part B premiums are projected to increase by about $1.50 to $135.50 per month in 2019.
Here’s a look at how much retirees’ checks have increased throughout recent years, based on the full year the increases went into effect.