Counting on a cost of living boost to your Social Security benefits in 2016? It’s not likely to happen, because inflation has been too low.
The annual increases are automatic when the Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners is higher in the prior third quarter than the same quarter the year before.
But the first two quarters of 2015 were actually lower than 2014. And we’re in the third quarter now.
“So unless inflation surges during the remainder of the summer, it’s unlikely that the third quarter of 2015 will surpass the third quarter of 2014,” according to an online Investment News story.
In its recently released report for 2015, the Social Security Board of Trustees confirmed it, saying a COLA or cost of living adjustment wasn’t expected in 2016. But 2017 looks much better for an increase, with trustees projecting a possible 3.1 percent increase.
Since 1975, only two years had no Social Security benefit increases — 2010 and 2011. This year, benefits increased 1.7 percent, similar to 2014 and 2013.