AARP: COLA Critical to Millions of Americans

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–October 14, 2010.  AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond offered the following statement in reaction to the Social Security Administration’s anticipated announcement Friday that tens of millions of retired and disabled workers, their families and survivors of deceased workers will not receive a cost of living adjustment (COLA) in 2011.  This is the second year in a row without a COLA since automatic Social Security adjustments went into effect in 1975.

“For over three decades, millions of older Americans have counted on annual Social Security benefit increases to help them afford their basic needs.  Unfortunately, the benefits they’ve earned will again be frozen next year, leaving millions who are struggling in this economy without an increase.

“Many Americans who rely on Social Security as their primary source of income continue to face financial hardship today.  Over the past two years, older Americans have paid more for utilities and food, experienced a decline in housing values, tried to recover from deep retirement account losses, struggled with rising health and prescription drug costs, and faced longer periods of unemployment for those who need to work.  AARP is asking Congress to provide relief to millions of older Americans in the post-election session.

“The calls and emails AARP has received from members concerned about the lack of a COLA increase serve as a reminder of the importance of Social Security’s guaranteed, life-long benefits, which continue to provide essential income support to millions of Americans. Even more troubling than the lack of an increase are discussions to target Social Security for cuts to reduce the deficit.  On behalf of our members and the millions of Americans who depend on Social Security, we have a message to all elected leaders and congressional candidates:  Older Americans need relief, not cuts to Social Security to reduce a deficit it didn’t cause.”

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