Retirees won't get cost-of-living raise

Oct. 15, 2010 at 12:28 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- People who receive Social Security benefits will not get a cost-of-living increase for a second straight year, the Social Security Administration said Friday.

Nearly 54 million retirees and other Americans won't see an increase in their monthly retirement checks. It is the first time in 35 years there have been consecutive years when benefits didn't increase.

The automatic increases are tied to the Consumer Price Index and Friday's announcement came moments after the Labor Department released CPI figures for the third quarter. It showed prices this year were 1.5 percent higher than a year ago.

While many segments of the population benefited from the Obama administration's stimulus plans, older Americans are feeling the pinch of the weak economy, a Washington Post report said.

"Older Americans need relief, not cuts to Social Security to reduce a deficit [it] didn't cause," said Nancy LeaMond, executive vice president of AARP, the organization of Americans age 50 and older.

President Obama will renew his call for a $250 Economic Recovery Payment to veterans, seniors and people with disabilities, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Friday.

"We're grateful that Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi has indicated she will bring the new Economic Recovery Payment to a vote and we urge members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to support our seniors, veterans and others with disabilities who depend on these benefits," Gibbs said.

Last year, 56 million people benefited from the first Economic Recovery Payment, including about 50 million Social Security beneficiaries, Gibbs said.

The lack of a cost-of-living adjustment affects several groups of people in addition to the nation's 38 million retirees 65 and older, the report said.

They include family members of workers who died prematurely and people who qualify for Social Security disability payments. The typical retiree receives a Social Security payment of almost $1,200 per month.

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