Retiree checks to rise modestly amid push to expand benefits
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Retiree checks to rise modestly amid push to expand benefits

In this Oct. 9, 2019 photo, Joe Schiavone, 81, stands in his workshop in West Melbourne, Fla. Schiavone will get a modest cost-of-living increase from Social Security for 2020,a political year in which many Democrats are calling for a boost in basic benefits and a more generous formula to compute annual inflation adjustments. (AP Photo/Mike Brown)

WASHINGTON — Social Security says millions of retirees will get a modest 1.6% cost-of-living increase in 2020 — and that comes to about $24 more a month more the average retired worker.

That news could have political consequences in an election year when Democrats are pushing more generous inflation protection, along with better benefits overall.

After a significant boost this year, the cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, for 2020 is reverting to its pattern of moderate gains.

Seniors and advocates complain that the inflation yardstick used to determine the annual adjustment doesn’t adequately reflect their costs, mainly for health care.

The COLA affects household budgets for about 1 in 5 Americans, meaning nearly 70 million people, and that includes Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees.

Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, The Associated Press

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