Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Says Largest Social Security Bump in 6 Years “Long Overdue”

Oct 13, 2017
Press Release
More Than 200,000 in Buchanan’s District Get Social Security

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan, a senior member of the Social Security Subcommittee, issued the following statement in response to today's announcement that seniors will receive a 2 percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) in their monthly benefit next year:

“The last six years have been very difficult for seniors who who live on fixed incomes,” Buchanan said, calling the increase “long overdue. Last year’s COLA was 0.3 percent and the year before it was 0 percent.”

Today's announcement that Social Security recipients will receive a 2 percent COLA in their 2018 benefits represents the largest increase since 2012. 

“Roughly half of all seniors rely on Social Security for 50 percent or more of their income,” Buchanan said. “Since first being elected to Congress, protecting Social Security has been one of my highest priorities. We must never lose sight that seniors have worked their entire lives so they can retire with the dignity and benefits they have earned.”

The Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security has jurisdiction over Social Security retirement, survivors and disability programs and oversees the operations of the Social Security Administration.

See the Social Security Administration’s announcement below:

Social Security Announces 2.0 Percent Benefit Increase for 2018

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase 2.0 percent in 2018, the Social Security Administration announced today.

The 2.0 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 61 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2018. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 29, 2017. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits) The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $128,700 from $127,200. Of the estimated 175 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2018, about 12 million will pay more because of the increase in the taxable maximum.

Information about Medicare changes for 2018, when announced, will be available at www.medicare.gov.

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.