Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Social Security announces 3.6% COLA increase in benefits, but warns rise in Medicare premiums may exceed benefits increase for many

Social Security has announced a 3.6% increase in retirement benefits for 2012, starting in January. But SSA warns, in its press release, that Medicare premium increases may be more than the benefit increase for some recipients. The link is here.  

The wage base maximum increases from $106,800 to $110, 100. That increase, in an actuarial sense, is supposed to support the COLA benefit increase.

It seems to make little sense, to me, to collect less than the full FICA taxes this year while Social Security approaches eventual breaking points.  Yet some social conservatives want to stop FICA taxes altogether for married couples who raise “enough” children.

For the short run, Social Security still displays plenty of political inertia, and this may be protecting current beneficiaries only.

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