SSA Announces COLAs

Kenneth S. Apfel, commissioner of Social Security, announced a 2.4% cost-of-living adjustment in benefits (COLA) for the year 2000. The average monthly benefit for retired workers will rise to $804 from $785, and the maximum monthly Supplemental Security Income payment will rise to $512 from $500.

He also announced that, as a result of an increase in the wage base in 2000, employers and workers will pay a maximum of $223.20 more a year in Social Security tax. The additional amount of tax for self-employed workers will be $446.40. Other adjustments this year include the following:

  • The maximum earnings subject to payroll tax will go to $76,200 from $72,600.
  • The maximum earnings a beneficiary under age 65 can earn without losing benefits will go to $10,080 from $9,600.
  • The maximum earnings a beneficiary between ages 65 and 69 can earn without losing benefits will go to $17,000 from $15,500.

Since 1975, Social Security and SSI benefits have been automatically adjusted each year to reflect increases in the cost of living. The adjustments are based on changes in the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W).


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