It's not much, but monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments will be going up next year.
The Social Security Administration reports more than 65 million recipients will see a 0.3% increase in their benefits in 2017.
The more than 60 million Social Security beneficiaries will see the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) starting in January, while increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin later this year -- on December 30.
The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as determined by the Department of Labor (DOL).
Some give, some take
Other adjustments aren't nearly as pleasant.
Based on the increase in average wages, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will jump to $127,200 from $118,500. That means roughly 12 million workers will pay more because of the increase in the taxable maximum.
Information about Medicare changes for 2017 have yet to be announced, but some beneficiaries may see their benefit increase or be partially or completely wiped out by increases in Medicare premiums.
Consumer prices on the rise
Meanwhile, DOL reports the CPI rose 0.3% last month on a seasonally adjusted basis, due in large part to increases in the costs of gasoline and shelter.
Gasoline prices soared 5.8%, while housing costs were up 0.4% -- the largest increase since May.
Food prices, meanwhile, were unchanged for the third consecutive month, with the food at home (grocery store prices) continuing to decline.
The price of items less food and energy -- the “core” rate of inflation -- was up 0.1% after rising 0.3% in August. For the 12 months ending in August, core inflation is running at a rate of 2.2%.
The complete report is available on the DOL website.