Cost of Living Adjustment increases 2.0% in 2018, Contribution Base increased to $128,700

With the release of the CPI report this morning, we now know the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), and the contribution base for 2018.

From Social Security: Social Security Announces 2.0 Percent Benefit Increase for 2018


Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase 2.0 percent in 2018, the Social Security Administration announced today.

The 2.0 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 61 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2018. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 29, 2017. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits) The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $128,700 from $127,200. Of the estimated 175 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2018, about 12 million will pay more because of the increase in the taxable maximum.
Currently CPI-W is the index that is used to calculate the Cost-Of-Living Adjustments (COLA). Here is a discussion from Social Security on the current calculation (2.0% increase) and a list of previous Cost-of-Living Adjustments.

The contribution and benefit base will be $128,700 in 2018.

The National Average Wage Index increased to $48,664.73 in 2016, up 1.2% from $48,098.63 in 2015 (used to calculate contribution base).

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