News Releases

Social Security Administration just announced cost-of-living adjustments for 2017 will only rise 0.3 percent – or just about $5 on average 

‘Raise’ is one of the lowest ever at a time when seniors face mounting costs

The SAVE Benefits Act would give about 70 million seniors, vets, and those with disabilities a supplementary payment of about $581

Bill would end tax subsidies for million-dollar corporate bonuses to give more than 1,200,000 Washingtonians emergency relief  

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced a new push to urge her colleagues to pass the Seniors and Veterans Emergency (SAVE) Benefits Act, which would provide a one-time payment of $581 to Social Security recipients who were denied a cost of living adjustment (COLA) in 2016. Even though living expenses continue to increase, Washington state seniors recently learned that they would only be receiving a $5 monthly COLA increase - or 0.3 percent - for 2017.                                                    

“After a lifetime of hard work, all seniors deserve support to live healthy, full, and financially secure lives, and many rely on small annual increases to their Social Security benefits just to get by,” Senator Murray said. “Next year’s COLA is woefully inadequate for Washington state seniors to keep up with the ever-increasing costs of everyday life. I hope my colleagues will support this critical legislation to  help seniors, veterans, and individuals with disabilities have a fighting chance to make ends meet.”

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the purpose of the COLA is to ensure that the purchasing power of Social Security benefits is not eroded by inflation. COLAs are based on increases in the Consumer Price Index which is used to measure the annual change in inflation. CPI tracks the price of the “typical basket” of consumer goods. However, the federal government’s CPI formula heavily weights the price of gas and energy, which many seniors spend less on.

The 2017 increase in Social Security COLA will increase by only $5 a month for an average beneficiary receiving retirement benefits. According to the latest COLA, Social Security benefits and SSI payments will only increase by 0.3% beginning in December 2016. According to the Social Security Administration this 0.3% increase will benefit over 65 million people, but this year’s COLA increase is the second lowest increase since the economy emerged from the 2008 recession.

For more on the SAVE Benefits Act, click here. The bill was introduced last year by Senator Elizabeth Warren, and is co-sponsored by Senators Ed Markey, Barbara Mikulski, Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, Charles Schumer, Bill Nelson, Debbie Stabenow, Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown, Bob Casey, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jeff Merkley, Kirsten Gillibrand, Al Franken, Richard Blumenthal, Chris Murphy, Mazie Hirono, Patrick Leahy, Cory Booker, Gary Peters, Richard Durbin, and Tammy Baldwin.