Social Security benefits, offered to people aged 62 and older, will rise 1.5 percent for a cost of living adjustment in 2014, the Social Security Administration announced today.
There are 2.4 million state residents who received Social Security in 2012, Gannett’s Ashley Hupfl reports. Residents who qualified received an average of $15,600 in benefits annually. Social Security accounts for an average of 47 percent of the eligible resident’s income, AARP in New York said.
The increase, though, is one of the lowest since the mid-1970s.
“The annual Social Security COLA is critically important to the financial security of the nearly 58 million Americans receiving benefits. By providing against inflation, the COLA helps beneficiaries of all ages maintain their standard of living, keeping many from falling into poverty,” AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond said in a statement.
The 2010 Census showed 279,610 of state residents over 65 years-old are living in poverty. Social Security benefits keep an additional 820,432 people aged 65 and older out of poverty, the AARP reports.
AARP warned about limiting the cost of living adjustment for Social Security.
“Shrinking the COLA could also negatively impact our still fragile national economy, since every dollar of Social Security benefits generates about $2 of economic activity. Recent research by the AARP Public Policy Institute calculated that spending of Social Security benefits added about $1.4 trillion in total economic output into the U.S. economy in 2012,” Leamond said.