Social Security advocates are pressing lawmakers to pass the one-time emergency 3% Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) bill that was introduced in mid-October by Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore.
Replacing the announced 1.3% COLA with a 3% increase in 2021 “is a way to provide a more fair and adequate inflation adjustment to beneficiaries,” said Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League, in a statement on Tuesday.
DeFazio’s bill, H.R. 8598, which has 95 co-sponsors, with 94 Democrats and one Republican, has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.
Johnson told ThinkAdvisor in a Tuesday email that it’s unclear if DeFazio will try and attach the measure to the omnibus spending bill, “which appears to be facing some obstacles to passage,” or to a sweeping retirement bill dubbed the Secure Act 2.0.
The spending bill must be passed in December.
A one-time 3% boost would increase a $1,523 Social Security benefit by about $398 per year on average, over the course of a 25-year retirement period, according to new analysis from The Senior Citizens League.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, seniors are facing additional financial burdens in order to stay safe,” DeFazio said in a statement in mid-October addressing the 1.3% COLA. “This absolutely anemic COLA won’t even come close to helping them afford even their everyday expenses, let alone those exacerbated by COVID-19.”
Greg Valliere, chief U.S. strategist for AGF Investments, said in his Tuesday morning email briefing that Congress “will need at least another week to agree on a massive budget bill and a Covid stimulus package.”