Home Retirement COLA Social Security 2024 updates — Just 48 hours until final increased January $4,873 payment drops

COLA Social Security 2024 updates — Just 48 hours until final increased January $4,873 payment drops

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COLAs percentages over the last decade

The cost-of-living adjustment is factored into Social Security payments every January. The COLA for the last 10 years are:

  • January 2014: 1.5%
  • January 2015: 1.7%
  • January 2016: 0.0%
  • January 2017: 0.3%
  • January 2018: 2.0%
  • January 2019: 2.8%
  • January 2020: 1.6%
  • January 2021: 1.3%
  • January 2022: 5.9%
  • January 2023: 8.7%
  • January 2024: 3.2%

Spousal benefits for divorcees, concluded

If your ex was born before January 2, 1954, and has reached full retirement age, they can choose to receive only the divorced spouse’s benefits, delaying their retirement benefit until a later time.

If your ex’s birthday is January 2, 1954, or later, the option to take only one benefit at full retirement age expires.

If your ex-spouse files for one benefit, they’ll be filing for all retirement or spousal benefits.

Spousal benefits for divorcees, part three

According to the SSA, if you have been divorced for at least two continuous years, your ex-spouse is eligible to claim retirement benefits on your record even if you have not applied yet. 

However, if they are eligible for their own retirement benefits, Social Security will pay for that amount first.

If your benefits are higher, your ex will also get an additional amount from your record, ensuring that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount.

Spousal benefits for divorcees, continued

The maximum spousal benefit is 50% of whatever your ex-spouse will collect at their full retirement age (FRA).

If you retired at your FRA in 2022, your maximum monthly benefit is $3,345.

This means that your ex-partner would be able to get up to $1,672.50 per month.

An ex-spouse claiming benefits on your record will not reduce the amount you receive yourself.

To apply for spousal benefits after a divorce, visit the SSA website, call 1-800-772-1213, or head to the local Social Security office.

Receiving spousal benefits as a divorcee

Ex-spouses can receive benefits on your record if they fall under a set number of categories.

These include:

  • The marriage lasted 10 years or longer
  • Your ex-spouse is unmarried
  • Your ex-spouse is 62 or older
  • The benefit that your ex-spouse is entitled to receive based on their own work is less than the benefit they would receive based on your work
  • You are entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits

The history of COLA, part two

Inflation rates throughout the 1970s varied from 3.3 percent to 11.3 percent.

In 1975, the COLA was increased by 8 percent, while inflation was at 9.1 percent.

In 1980, the COLA hit its highest point in history at 14.3 percent – against a 13.5 percent inflation rate.

Small COLA increases of 2 percent to 3 percent per year were common throughout the 1990s, thanks to dramatically reduced inflation rates.

Even lower inflation rates in the early 2000s resulted in no COLA adjustments in 2010, 2011, and 2016.

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