U.S. Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits will increase 3.6 percent in 2012.
The Social Security monthly payment for the average retired worker will go from $1,186 in 2011 to $1,229 in 2012 an increase of $43, according to the announcement Wednesday.
The 3.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that nearly 55 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2012.
Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 30, 2011.
Some other changes that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages.
For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums.
Most senior citizens will have to wait until next week, when Medicare announces the cost of Medicare Part B for 2012, to determine their net income from the COLA boost.
Of the estimated 161 million workers in the United States who will pay Social Security taxes in 2012, about 10 million will pay higher taxes as a result of the increase in the taxable maximum. Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $110,100 from $106,800.
The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola
Information about Medicare changes for 2012, when announced, will be available at www.Medicare.gov