With consumer prices down over the past year, monthly Social Security benefits will not automatically increase in 2016.
The Social Security Act provides for an automatic increase in Social Security benefits if there is an increase in inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). The period of consideration includes the third quarter of the last year a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) was made to the third quarter of the current year. As determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there was no increase in the CPI-W from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015. Therefore, under existing law, there can be no COLA in 2016.
In 2016, the standard Part B premium amount will be $121.80 (or higher depending on your income). However, most people who get Social Security benefits will continue to pay the same Part B premium amount as they paid in 2015. This is because there wasn’t a cost-of-living increase for 2016 Social Security benefits.
Information about cost of living adjustment can be found at www.socialsecurity.gov/cola
Information about Medicare changes for 2016 can be found at https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/part-b-costs/part-b-costs.html