Social Security Benefits Will Increase by 1.7% in 2013, SSA Announces

Sample Social Security Card (Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) announced today that Social Security benefits will increase by 1.7% in 2013, as a result of a cost-of-living adjustment.

The 1.7% increase will benefit nearly 62 million Americans receiving Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, SSA announced.

According to a news release issued today by SSA, “The 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that more than 56 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2013.” “Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2012.”

The increase in benefits is a result of an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) made pursuant to the Social Security Act, to keep pace with any increases in the cost of living due to inflation. Benefits are recalculated annually based on the consumer price index reported in the third quarter. Data released by the government on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 showed that U.S. consumer prices increased 0.6 percent in September.

According to SSA’s release, an adjustment in the level of earnings subject to Social Security Tax will also take effect in January, based on an increase found in average wages. “Based on that increase, starting in January, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $113,700 from $110,100,” SSA announced. Of the estimated 163 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2013, approximately 10 million will pay higher taxes as a result of the increase in the taxable maximum, SSA said.

“For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums,” SSA cautioned.

Information about Medicare changes for 2013, when announced, will be available at www.Medicare.gov, the agency announced.

Following is the news release issued today by the Social Security Administration (SSA):


Press Release

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 Press Office
For Immediate Release 410-965-8904
press.office@ssa.gov
Social Security Announces 1.7 Percent Benefit Increase for 2013

(Printer friendly version)

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 62 million Americans will increase 1.7 percent in 2013, the Social Security Administration announced today.

The 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that more than 56 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2013.  Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2012.

Some other changes that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages.  Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $113,700 from $110,100.  Of the estimated 163 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2013, nearly 10 million will pay higher taxes as a result of the increase in the taxable maximum.

Information about Medicare changes for 2013, when announced, will be available at www.Medicare.gov.  For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums.

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated.  To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.

# # #

A fact sheet showing the effect of the various automatic adjustments is attached.

SSA Press Office  440 Altmeyer Building  6401 Security Blvd.  Baltimore, MD 21235
410-965-8904  FAX 410-966-9973

More Information

For more information on financial issues of concern to seniors and caregivers, see the HelpingYouCare® resource pages on Legal and Financial Issues for Seniors & Caregivers, including:

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