Social Security Benefits to Increase 5.9% in 2022, Spurred by Inflation

Headline Roundup October 13th, 2021

The Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2022 will be 5.9%, the Social Security Administration announced Wednesday, marking a sharp increase from the last decade’s 1.65% average yearly adjustment. The average retiree will receive an additional $92 each month, with couples receiving an average increase of $154. The change is the largest since 1982’s 7.4% increase and is slightly higher than 2009’s 5.8% increase. The announcement came as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 5.4% year-over-year increase in consumer prices, largely driven by food and energy prices. 

Right-rated outlets were more likely to highlight the role of “surging” inflation in this story, with some outlets calling the benefits increase “massive.” Some left- and center-rated outlets also used words like “spiked” and “soaring” to describe the size of inflation and the benefits increase.

From the Left

Millions of retirees on Social Security will get a 5.9% boost in benefits for 2022. The biggest cost-of-living adjustment in 39 years follows a burst in inflation as the economy struggles to shake off the drag of the coronavirus pandemic.

The COLA, as it’s commonly called, amounts to $92 a month for the average retired worker, according to estimates released Wednesday by the Social Security Administration. That marks an abrupt break from a long lull in inflation that saw cost-of-living adjustments averaging just 1.65% a year over the past 10 years.

With the increase, the estimated...

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From the Center

Seniors and other Americans receiving Social Security benefits in 2022 will see the largest increase in their payments in four decades, reflecting surging inflation during the pandemic.

Next year’s cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, will be 5.9%, the Social Security Administration said Wednesday. The increase will translate to an addition of $92 to retirees’ average monthly benefit next year, bringing the amount to $1,657, the agency estimates.

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From the Right

Millions of retirees and other Americans receiving Social Security benefits in 2022 are set to receive the biggest payment increase in four decades, following a pandemic-driven inflation spike.

The Social Security Administration said Wednesday that next year's cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, will be 5.9%. That amounts to a monthly increase of $92 for the average retired Wednesday, bringing the amount to $1,657, the administration said. A typical couple's benefits would climb by $154 to $2,754 per month. 

The increase – the steepest annual adjustment since 1982, when recipients saw a 7.4% bump...

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