On this edition of the podcast, we take a look at the historic 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment in Social Security benefits announced for 2023.

The Social Security Administration announced that benefits will rise by 8.7% in 2023. That’s a big raise for more than 52 million retired Americans, and another 18 million who are survivors of covered workers or recipients of disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income. The maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax will increase to $160,200 from $147,000.

I published an in-depth story about the Social Security COLA in the New York Times this week that’s been drawing a lot of traffic, comments and questions. It answers a variety of questions about the COLA. The story explains why the 2023 COLA will be so high, and it discusses the accuracy of the COLA in tracking inflation for seniors. I even get into how the inflation hike might impact your taxes. 

For the podcast, I invited a panel of experts on Social Security to join me to talk about the COLA. We took a dive into the history of the COLA and why it is so important to the well-being of seniors. We also got into the question of adequacy of benefits. With such a big headline COLA figure, it’s tempting to think that seniors are living on easy street. But keep in mind that the COLA does no more than keep seniors even with inflation. The reality is that about half of seniors struggle to meet their basic living expenses.

Joining me are three guests.

  • Nancy Altman is president of Social Security Works, one of the most important advocacy groups working to protect and expand Social Security. Nancy also is an appointed member of the Social Security Advisory Board – a bipartisan, independent federal government agency that advises the President, Congress, and the Commissioner of Social Security on Social Security programs.
  • Ramsey Alwin is president and CEO of the National Coalition on Aging, one of the key organizations that advocates on behalf of seniors. Much of Ramsey’s work has focused on economic security and seniors, with a special focus on poverty.
  • Bill Arnone is the CEO of the National Academy of Social Insurance. NASI is a non-profit, non-partisan organization made up of the nation’s leading experts on social insurance. Bill’s professional background also includes expertise in taxes and employee benefits.

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