Legislation Would Establish New Consumer Price Index for Social Security

A Washington, D.C., senior-citizen advocacy group today said it applauds a new piece of legislation that would create an inflation measurement based on expenses typically borne by seniors.

A news release from RetireSafe said the CPI for Senior Act (H.B. 5305) would establish a Consumer Price Index for Seniors (CPI-S) on which the government would base Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAS).

RetireSafe President Thair Phillips said in the release that the Social Security COLAS are now based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Phillips said the system produces an inaccurate result because the CPI-W benchmark does not reflect expenses of a typical senior citizen—particularly the higher health care costs.

“While there may be other approaches to address this problem, we believe the critical first step should be a truly accurate CPI-S that can finally be used to provide a fair and accurate Social Security COLA each year,” Phillips said.

Phillips pointed out that the government’s current system resulted in no COLA for 2010.

More information about the group is available at www.retiresafe.org