Washington calls its plan a way to make the formula for Social Security annual cost-of-living increases “more accurate.” Stephen Kennedy just calls it “painful.”
“The Chained CPI will hit people hardest when they’re least able to make up for the income they lose through the Chained CPI adjustment to our Social Security benefits,” said Kennedy, 63, of Jacksonville. “The Chained CPI proposal will be painful for anyone in our age group.” Chained CPI’s impact on him and his wife? $22,000 over 20 years.
Kennedy, a former education administrator, and his wife, a former systems analyst, are both retired. Both receive Social Security benefits. Kennedy believes in giving back to his community, volunteering for 100 Black Men of Jacksonville and taking part in other volunteer community activities.
The Chained CPI plan would cut the Social Security annual cost-of-living increase to a level three-tenths of one percent lower than the government’s official inflation index for urban consumers. In other words, if the government’s inflation indicator for a particular year were 1.7 percent, Social Security beneficiaries would see an annual Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) that year of 1.4 percent. Some in Washington have called for adoption of the Chained CPI plan as a way to reduce the federal deficit.
At first, the impact of Chained CPI is minor. If the Chained CPI plan had been in effect for 2013, beneficiaries would see a cut of only about $43.
However, as Kennedy notes, the impact of the Chained CPI plan gets bigger the longer you live. If Kennedy and his wife both live an additional 20 years, and if Congress adopts the Chained CPI plan this year, they stand to lose $22,000 in benefits if they live for an additional 20 years, Kennedy said.
To learn what you would lose if the Chained CPI plan were enacted, please go to www.aarp.org/whatyoulose.
Kennedy urged other Florida residents to speak out on the Chained CPI plan. To be connected toll-free to your elected representatives and provide your viewpoint on the Chained CPI plan, please call 1-877-814-7890. To send an e-mail to your member of Congress on the plan, please go to www.aarp.org/whatyoulose .
AARP Florida also invites you to make your own YouTube video on proposals to cut Social Security or Medicare benefits to reduce the federal deficit. By making a video, you’ll give members of Congress a chance to see firsthand the people who would be hurt by a benefit cut.
If you choose to make such a video, please include the tag words “AARP” and “Florida” on the YouTube posting.