2012 COLA Watch – Preliminary Report For September

The BLS released the August CPI figures about an hour ago. The CPI-W increased to 223.326 in August from 222.686 in July, an increase of 0.3%.

The average of the July 2011 CPI-W amount of 222.686 and the August 2011 CPI-W amount of 223.326 is 223.006. When compared to the average for July through September 2008, the baseline, 215.495, this would generate a COLA of about 3.49%.

We still need the September 2011 CPI-W, which is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, October 19, at 8:30 AM EDT. As soon as that amount is release then we will know what the COLA amount should be, under current law. Social Security usually issues a press release to coincide with the October CPI-W report actually announcing the COLA.

Personally, I think the CPI-W will continue to increase in September. The increase in the August 2011 CPI-W was mostly generated by large increases in food prices, which I do not see decreasing. It was also in spite of a 0.5% decrease in gasoline prices in August.

Full report later.

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4 Responses to 2012 COLA Watch – Preliminary Report For September

  1. Ken says:

    Since the VA COLA is tied to the SS COLA, this is great news. After having no COLA increase in 2 years, but prices continuing to rise; it seems as though I had a 7% decrease. For some reason, I still believe a little over 3% will not really bring me close to where we should actually be.

    • ssapotluck says:

      Hello Ken,

      According to the VA…

      VA compensation and pension benefits cost of living allowance (COLA) is paid based on the Social Security Administration (SSA) COLA. Compensation COLA by statue may not be more than the SSA COLA and pension COLA is equal to the SSA COLA. This year SSA did not increase COLA. VA will not be providing letters to beneficiaries informing them that there will be no COLA for 2010.

      What’s New in Compensation & Pension Benefits

      I agree with you fully that 3.5% (or whatever it finally turns out to be) is nowhere sufficient to cover my increased expenses over the past two years.

  2. kiakiddy two says:

    Why is the cost of iving nothing compared to what the cost of living for those holding a polictical office. Percentage wise it should be the same.

    • revenuer says:

      Hi kiakiddy,

      Under current law, Congress is supposed to get the same COLA amount as the rest of us. They always make it a point to refuse it though, on the supposition that the rest of us will think it is an heroic gesture. They are also supposed to have the same heath insurance plans that regular civil service employees have. I am a retired federal employee and I am willing to bet that though they have the same plans they are covered and treated a heck of a lot better than we are.

      As to the grand gestures of refusing COLAs and other raises they are offered Congress has one up on us. They have a lot more corporate “donors” to their lifestyles and political processes. It kind of makes me remember “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” an old TV show from the 80s. Maybe they could do a new show for these recessive times. “Lifestyles of the Poor and Humble.” ‘)

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