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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

Stop, Look & Listen: Railroad Retirement Benefits Q&A

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

No Cost-of-Living Increase in January 2010

(Posted October 13, 2009)

Question 730: Will there be an a cost of living increase for annuities in
January 2010 ?

Answer: Under the current law, there will not be an automatic cost of living increase in January 2010 for Railroad Retirement, Social Security, Civil Service, or Veterans benefits. This is the first time since the provision became law in the early 1970's that benefits will not be increased.

Each year, the cost-of-living index for July, August and September of the current year is compared to the same period in the previous year. The percentage of any increase is then used to increase benefits the following January.

In comparing 2009 to 2008, the cost of living index is actually about 2% lower. Currrent benefit rates will not be lowered. Contributing to this situation is the lower cost of gasoline and the significantly lower cost of housing.

Of course, the Congress can always amend the law to provide a special one-time adjustment for January 2010.

Important notice:

Answers are provided as general guidance on the subjects covered in the question and are not provided as legal advice to the questioner or to readers. Any legal issues should be reviewed by your legal counsel to apply the law to the particular facts of this and similar situations.

The law in this area changes frequently. Answers are believed to be correct as of the posting dates shown. The completeness or accuracy of a particular answer may be affected by changes in the law (statutes, regulations, rulings, court decisions, etc.) that occur after the date on which a particular Q&A is posted.

Copyright 1997-2017 Robert S. Kaufman
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