Thanks in large part to the Federal Reserve’s continued interest rate hikes, inflation has cooled. That means next year’s COLA will be much lower than the 8.7% increase beneficiaries saw in 2023. Still, the latest estimates project the COLA will be above average.
The latest 2024 COLA prediction of 3.2% from The Senior Citizens League, released Sept. 13, is above the 20-year average of 2.6%. That would increase the average monthly benefit by $58, taking the typical retiree’s check to $1,885.
The final COLA is typically announced by the Social Security Administration every October. This year, the SSA will set the final COLA at 8:30 a.m. ET on Oct. 12, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases inflation numbers for the third quarter.
Social Security beneficiaries start receiving their COLA increase at the beginning of the year, and recipients of retirement benefits usually get paid on the third of each month. That means beneficiaries will see their first payment that includes the 2024 COLA increase on Jan. 3 of next year.
Year-over-year inflation surged between 1975 and early 1980s, resulting in annual COLAs that ranged from 5.9% to 14.3%, the highest COLA ever recorded. Retirees saw comparatively modest increases for years until 2022, when inflation again raised the COLA to the highest levels since 1981.