COLA effect on Social Security retirement benefits
Calculation of retirement benefits
Social Security benefit data by…
benefit type or
New beneficiaries coming onto Social Security's rolls tend to have, on average, higher
benefits than those leaving, so average benefits normally rise from month to month. This gradual
rise in average benefits is altered by abrupt increases due to annual cost-of-living
adjustments or COLAs. The COLA for December 2013 is 1.5 percent and is first payable in January 2014.
The table below provides estimated average benefits for those in current-payment
status at the end of December 2013 for selected types of beneficiaries or families.
Estimated effect of 1.5-percent COLA on
at the end of December 2013
|Type of benefit or family
||All retired workers
||$1,275 ||$1,294 ||$19|
|All disabled workers
||1,129 ||1,146 ||17|
||Disabled worker, spouse, and children
||1,914 ||1,943 ||29|
|Retired worker and aged spouse
||2,080 ||2,111 ||31|
|Surviving child(ren) onlya
||1,043 ||1,059 ||16|
|Aged widow(er) alone
||1,225 ||1,243 ||18|
|Widowed mother and 2 children
||2,585 ||2,624 ||39|
|a Family with one or more children
excludes surviving parent or guardian who is ineligible to receive benefits.
Note: The above estimates are based on actual benefit data through October 2013.