Economist Mike Walden: Raises for Social Security Recipients

I’m Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at raises for Social Security recipients.  Mike, 61 million people in the country receive Social Security checks, with most of these being retirees.   Each year these folks anxiously await to hear how much their check is going to increase.   I understand the increase for next year was just announced.  What was it?

  1. 8% raise for 2019, following 2% this year
  2. 8% is largest since 2012
  3. Except, don’t get too excited – the raise is tied to the cost-of-living, so is primarily higher because inflation is running a little faster
  4. So the raises are designed to keep retirees’ pay at pace with inflation
  5. Could be worse – until 1975 there were no automatic annual SS increases
  6. Had to rely on the discretion of Congress to pass SS pay raises

And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.