As elected officials consider adopting the chained CPI as part of a budget deal, AARP has unveiled a new on-line calculator to show Americans how much they would lose if Washington changes the way the cost-of-living is calculated for Social Security and veterans benefits. By entering their age and estimated annual benefit, users can see how much less they would receive over the years if the chained CPI becomes law.
“Seniors and veterans are not line items in a budget. AARP created this calculator because we believe people deserve to know the chained CPI proposal is on the table and that it could cost them thousands of dollars over their lifetimes,” said AARP Director of Financial Security Cristina Martin Firvida. “Washington may think this is a ‘technical change,’ but it is painfully real to seniors and veterans who are already living on tight budgets and have sacrificed so much for this great country.”
According to the calculator, a 65-year-old receiving the average Social Security retirement benefit of $14,800 a year would lose $8,904.58 in total benefits by the time they reached age 85. The calculator draws on data provided by AARP’s Public Policy Institute.
“The greatest impact of the chained CPI would fall on the oldest and those who can least afford it,” added Martin Firvida. “It is the only proposed change to Social Security that would cut the benefits of current seniors as well as future generations.”
More than 125,000 Americans have contacted the White House with their concerns about the chained CPI since AARP began advertising, grassroots and on-line alerts last week. The ads and e-mails call on President Obama to honor his commitment to seniors and protect beneficiaries from this cut to their COLA by keeping Social Security out of any budget deal.
“Social Security is a self-financed program that didn’t cause the deficit, so it shouldn’t be cut to fix Washington’s budget problems,” concluded Martin Firvida.
The AARP Chained CPI Calculator is live at www.aarp.org/whatyoulose.
For more on where AARP stands on Chained CPI, please visit our website.