The Census Bureau just reported a large increase in poverty in the United States. Driven by job loss and long-term unemployment, the poverty rate rose from 13.2% to 14.3%, as 3.7 million more Americans found themselves with incomes below the poverty threshold. Individuals aged 55-64 followed the national trend as they shared in job losses.
But, according to a new issue brief from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, those 65 and over saw a decline in their poverty rate. This outcome was the result of the timing of two different adjustments to reflect changes in consumer prices – an extraordinarily large cost-of-living adjust-ment (COLA) awarded to Social Security beneficiaries in 2009 and a decline in the index used to adjust the poverty threshold for 2009.