This year’s Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) resulted in a 2.8 % increase, the largest increase since 2012, but don’t expect anything like that for 2020. Although it is too early to say definitively what the increase will be for next year, it looks like it will come down dramatically.
Social Security laws stipulate that amount of money paid to Americans who receive Social Security benefits (old age and disability), disabled veterans, and military retirees must be adjusted annually for inflation. The Social Security Administration uses one of the measures of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to gauge the inflation level during the third quarter of the year (July, August and September), so the SSA will not set the 2020 COLA until early November. However, the inflation rate so far this year has been low. Best estimates at this time peg the 2020 COLA at 1.7% to 1.8%.
Trade negotiations with China are the wildcard in the COLA projections, however. If new tariffs are imposed on China, the inflation rate could rise and then so could the COLA. We’ll have to wait a few months to know for sure.