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The Chained CPI: What It Is and What It Means For Women

Act Now: Tell Congress to Take the Chained CPI Off the Table!

Some of the current deficit reduction talks going on in Washington include a change to the way the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is calculated. The CPI determines the cost of living adjustment (COLA) Social Security beneficiaries receive each year. Some want to use a new measurement, the chained CPI, to calculate the COLA each year. While some in Washington are calling the chained CPI nothing more than a “technical fix,” it is anything but. 

Learn more from the resources below.

Fact Sheet

Read our fact sheet (PDF) to learn how switching to the chained CPI would result in painful cuts to Social Security benefits – especially for women.

Blogs

Typical Single Elderly Woman’s Social Security Benefit Won’t Fully Recover from Chained CPI – Unless She Lives to 104 
Here's an Idea: Instead of Cutting Women's Social Security Benefits, Let's Improve Them 
Living to 100 Would Be A Little Harder With Stealth Cuts to Social Security, Especially For Women 
$19 a Month to Keep Up with the Cost of Living Doesn’t Sound Too High to Us 
Five Things to Know About the Stealth Cuts to Social Security That Policy Makers Are Talking About

Infographics

The Chained CPI is a benefit cut that gets worse the longer you live Chained CPI: A Stealth Cut to Social Security
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Report: Cutting the Social Security COLA by Changing the Way Inflation is Calculated Would Especially Hurt Women

Cutting the Social Security COLA by Changing the Way Inflation is Calculated Would Especially Hurt Women shows that women will be hit hardest by changing the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment from the CPI-W to the “chained CPI”. This proposed change delivers a triple whammy to women. Since women live longer than men, they face deeper cuts in their Social Security benefits under the chained CPI because the cuts get larger each year. Women rely more on income from Social Security than do men, so these cuts would represent a greater share of their total retirement income. And since older women are already more economically vulnerable than older men, these cuts will leave more of them unable to meet basic needs.

Click here to download a PDF of this report.

Report: Obama Plan Fails to Adequately Protect Long-Term Social Security Beneficiaries from Chained CPI

Obama Plan Fails to Adequately Protect Long-Term Social Security Beneficiaries from Chained CPI examines how effective the bump-ups for long-term beneficiaries President Obama proposed in his FY 2014 budget would be in protecting the typical single elderly woman – a woman with an initial benefit of $1,100 per month ($13,200 per year), the median benefit for single women 65 and older. Social Security provides about 73 percent of the median annual income for single women 65 and older, which is about $18,000.

Click here to download a PDF of this report.

Report: Chained CPI Imposes Painful Social Security Benefit Cuts and a Benefit Bump-Up Provides Only Limited Relief

Chained CPI Imposes Painful Social Security Benefit Cuts and a Benefit Bump-Up Provides Only Limited Relief examines how effective the “20-year benefit bump-up” proposed in the Bowles-Simpson Fiscal Commission report would be in protecting the typical single elderly woman – a woman with an initial benefit of $1,100 per month, the median benefit for single women 65 and older – and other vulnerable beneficiaries from the impact of the chained CPI.

Click here to download a PDF of this report.