June 28, 2011

A briefing on Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Some recent deficit reduction proposals call for shifting to a “chained CPI” to adjust Social Security and other benefits to keep pace with inflation.  Other policy proposals call for using a special price index for the elderly to adjust Social Security benefits.  What are the implications of such changes?

This session featured a discussion of NASI’s newly-released fact sheet: Should Social Security’s Cost-of-Living-Adjustment Be Changed?

Lee Goldberg, Director of Health Policy, National Academy of Social Insurance

Virginia Reno, Vice President for Income Security, National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI)
Benjamin Veghte, Income Security Research Associate, NASI

  • What is current Social Security policy on cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs)?
  • Are other consumer price indexes (CPIs) available?
  • What is a “chained CPI”?  How would it affect seniors’ benefits?  How would it affect Social Security’s finances?
  • How would switching to a special CPI for the elderly affect benefits for seniors?  How is it likely to affect Social Security’s long-term finances?
  • How do living costs of seniors compare to those of other households? How does out-of-pocket health spending for seniors change as they grow older?