Social Security: 3.6 Percent Benefit Increase for Next Year

Eileen Ambrose

9:53 AM EDT, October 19, 2011

After two consecutive years of no cost-of-living increase, Social Security beneficiaries will receive a 3.6 percent raise next year.

That will effect nearly 55 million Social Security beneficiaries starting in January.

The increase in benefits is tied to the inflation rate for the third quarter, compared with the third quarter of 2008 – the last time an increase was announced. Back then, gas prices shot up temporarily, and beneficiaries recieved a 5.8 percent increase in 2009. But the inflation rate then settled back down, and it has taken this long until inflation has surpassed that old level.

Additionally, the Social Security administration announced that the amount of wages subject to the Social Security tax also will be rising to $110,100 from $106,800.  Because of this increase, about 10 million workers will pay more in Social Security taxes next year. All told, about 161 million workers will pay into Social Security next year.

Copyright © 2011, The Baltimore Sun

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