Congressman Rick Nolan

Representing the 8th District of Minnesota
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Nolan Introduces Legislation for 3.9% Mid-Year Boost in Social Security Benefits

May 31, 2016
Press Release

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan today introduced legislation (H.R.5342) to provide a one-time 3.9% mid-year cost of living adjustment (COLA) in the benefits of 59 million Social Security recipients.

“As I have said many times before, we have plenty of time to fix what needs fixing without resorting to risky Republican privatization schemes that would turn Social Security over to billionaire Wall Street bankers, along with billions of dollars in management and administrative fees to boost their profits even higher,” Nolan said. “While we continue to fight privatization and ensure the integrity of Social Security for generations to come, our Fair COLA for Seniors Act of 2016 would provide more fairness for the system and give seniors a well-earned boost. “

The 3.9% payment, which coincides with the average salary increase the heads of America’s 350 largest corporations received from 2013 to 2014, would make up for the fact that Social Security recipients, including more than 100,000 in the 8th District, received no automatic adjustment at the onset on 2016. 

Nolan agreed to author this legislation after being asked to introduce it by Brainerd At-Large City Councilor Mary Koep during a constituent roundtable sponsored by the Minnesota Citizens Federation–Northeast. This discussion prompted Nolan to act quickly and introduce the “Fair COLA for Seniors Act of 2016” stipulating that the COLA adjustment would show up in checks in July of this year.

The measure would ensure that the 2016 special cost of living adjustment would not serve to reduce a new adjustment for 2017. The bill also directs that future cost of living adjustments be based on the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), a calculation that more accurately reflects how seniors really spend their hard earned money.

Moreover, because inflation often hits seniors hardest, and because more than 50% of all Americans lack any significant retirement savings except Social Security, Nolan has also cosponsored legislation to guarantee that lower-income recipients receive a cost of living increase of at least 3% cost every year. Those with higher incomes would receive at least a 1% increase in their Social Security payments.