The Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2024 is 3.2%, meaning that recipients will see their monthly payments rising by that amount for the new year. But when, exactly, does that increase kick in?
The Social Security Administration announced the COLA back in October. It takes inflation into account, calculating the percent change between average prices in the third quarter of the current year with the third quarter of the previous year.
Because the country saw inflation this past year, and although it is slowing down, Social Security recipients will get an increase in payments to keep up. The Kiplinger Letters team expects the inflation rate will drop quickly in the reports from January through April 2024 from an expected 3.6% in December.
When Social Security recipients will start getting 2024 payments
The Social Security Administration said the increased payments with the 2024 COLA for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients began December 29, 2023, as January 1 is a holiday.
When you get your monthly Social Security check depends on your birthday. Generally, if the date of your birth is the first through 10th day of its respective month, you'll get paid on the second Wednesday of the month. If your birthday is the 11th through 20th day of the month, you'll get paid on the third Wednesday. If your birthday is after the 20th day of the month, you'll get paid on the fourth Wednesday.
On average, Social Security retirement monthly benefits will grow by more than $50, according to the administration. That 3.2% COLA "is well above the 2.6% average over the past 20 years," the Senior Citizens League said in an October statement, although they added that "older adults are pessimistic about their finances in coming months and the growing potential for Social Security benefit cuts."
Additionally for 2024, the Social Security tax wage base will increase 5.2%, leading to higher taxes for some wealthy taxpayers. As the Kiplinger tax team explained, the tax is withheld from each paycheck and stops once your income reaches a certain amount. Those taxes are then used to fund the Social Security program, which provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits to eligible recipients.
The wage base limit is rising from $160,200 to $168,600. So if you earn more than that, you won't have to pay the Social Security payroll tax on the amount that exceeds that limit.
Alexandra Svokos is the senior digital editor of Kiplinger. She holds an MBA from NYU Stern in finance and management and a BA in economics and creative writing from Columbia University. Alexandra has a decade of experience in journalism, specializing in online newsrooms. She previously served as the senior editor of digital for ABC News, where she directed daily news coverage across topics through major events of the early 2020s for the network's website. Before that, she pioneered politics and election coverage for Elite Daily and went on to serve as the senior news editor for that group.
Alexandra was recognized with an "Up & Comer" award at the 2018 Folio: Top Women in Media awards, and she was asked twice by the Nieman Journalism Lab to contribute to their annual journalism predictions feature. She has also been asked to speak on panels and give presentations on the future of media, including by the Center for Communication and Twipe.
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