Social Security Increases Benefits By 0.3% For 2017

The Social Security Administration has announced a cost of living adjustment (COLA) to recipients’ monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. More than 65 million Americans will see the 0.3% increase in their payments beginning in January of 2017. The increase is tied to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers and was put in place to ensure the purchasing power of these benefits isn’t eroded by inflation.

This figure is a slight increase from 2016 since there was no increase for retirees last year. According to the Social Security Administration, retired workers on average collect $1,355 a month in Social Security payments, or roughly $16,260 a year. Raising the COLA 0.3% will add about $5 a month to those payments, or $60 for the year.

Keep in mind, all federal benefitsmust be direct deposited. So, if you haven’t already started receiving benefits, you need to establish electronic transfers to your bank or financial institution. We’re happy to help you get set up if needed.

You may also like to know that we’re now in the annual open enrollment period for Medicare. This year, you have until December 7 to review your benefit choices and costs and elect new coverage, if you like. Please take the time to go over your options. If you haven’t yet enrolled in Medicare, keep in mind you must do so within the seven-month period around your 65th birthday. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need assistance; We are available to help.

Lastly, for those of you with individual health plans, with many of the major individual health plan providers announcing they may limit the number of subscribers in 2017, we encourage youto renew your coverage very early in the Open Enrollment Period!This Open Enrollment Period runs from November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017.

Again, please let us know if we can help in this regard.