For working Americans who turn 66 during 2017, the earnings limit will be raised to $44,880 until their birth month. There will be no earnings limit for those who work and are full retirement age. The adjustment is meant to protect the purchasing power of Social Security from being affected by inflation. Last year's Consumer Price Index was used to make the adjustment calculation. The CPI-W is calculated and published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The first COLA provision was enacted in 1972 and was outlined in the Social Security Amendments. However, adjustments stemming from that action did not start until 1975. For benefits to increase before that time, Congress had to enact special legislation. The COLA adjustment enacted for the period from 1975 until 1982 was not payable until June. However, all provisions after that were payable in January instead of June. With these provisions in place, Social Security benefit values are no longer drained by inflation.
Anyone who receives regular Social Security payments or SSI and meets the qualification criteria for age and income should verify that their increase is calculated correctly in January. The increase is based on annual income.
To learn more about how to calculate the increase and verify it, ask your HALO insurance agent about COLA. Any errors or changes in work status should be reported immediately to Social Security. Give us a call at 314-351-HALO (4256).