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Inflation Pumps Up 2023 Social Security COLA Projection

Retirement Income

It may seem a little early to be scoping out a potential Social Security increase for next year—but not if you’re the Senior Citizens League.

That nonpartisan seniors’ group—which issued a number of projections for the 5.9% 2022 increase ahead of the actual announcement—says that, based on the latest Consumer Price Index data, the 2023 highest cost of living adjustment (COLA) could be as high as 7.6%. 

A couple of cautionary notes: While the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers, also known as the CPI-U, notched a new 40-year high with an increase of 7.9% over the past 12 months, it does not yet reflect what may still be coming as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and resulting international responses. Additionally, last year the group didn’t start with those estimates until May—but then again, the final result was the highest increase in 40 years.

Of course, the Social Security COLA is calculated based on different measure, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, or CPI-W. And it won’t be determined until… October.