If the measure known as Chained CPI is adopted, $623,470,000 in cuts to New Hampshire’s Social Security COLA and veterans’ benefits would occur.
“The Chained CPI is a significant benefit cut that snowballs over time,” said AARP New Hampshire State Director Kelly Clark. “The adoption of Chained CPI would take hundreds of billions of dollars out of the pockets of current and near retirees, working families, veterans and the disabled, as well as the local economies. That’s in the next ten years alone.”
The cut to Social Security’s COLA (cost of living adjustments) – currently on the table in debt deal discussions – would take roughly $560 million dollars out of the pockets of New Hampshire Social Security beneficiaries over the next ten years. Add to that over $63 million that Granite State veterans would lose in that same time frame. Nationally, veterans and Social Security benefits would be cut by $129 billion.
“The average Social Security retirement benefit in New Hampshire is only $14,700,” added Clark. “Every dollar is absolutely critical to the typical beneficiary. Proposals to reduce these benefits through adoption of the chained consumer price index would immediately hurt current recipients who depend on that income in retirement.”
And Social Security will likely be even more important to future generations. Due to stagnating income, escalating personal debt and rising costs for education and health care, workers today are less likely than their parents or grandparents to enjoy the living standards of their working years when they retire.
“If these trends continue, Social Security will be the main source of income for all but the wealthiest retirees in the future,” concluded Clark.
AARP’s efforts against the Chained CPI – and for a separate conversation regarding Social Security – will continue when Congress resumes in Washington next week.
To see how the COLA change would impact you and your family, use the new Chained CPI Calculator. Then send a message to President Obama and Senators Shaheen and Ayotte and Representatives Kuster and Shea-Porter. Urge them to reject this shortsighted change and instead find responsible ways to address our nation’s budget challenges.