No cost-of-living increase for Social Security in 2016

No cost-of-living increase for Social Security in 2016
© Getty Images

For the first time since 2011, Social Security recipients won’t see an annual cost-of-living increase next year, the Obama administration announced on Thursday.

It’s the third time in 10 years the administration has rejected a cost-of-living increase, citing a downward trend in consumer prices that has kept inflation nearly flat.

The announcement makes official what had already been widely predicted.

It also makes nearly certain that millions of people enrolled in Medicare Part B will see an increase in their premiums next year.

While the Department of Health and Human Services hasn’t yet announced its premium change, the widely expected outcome is already generating outcry on Capitol Hill by top lawmakers like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

It would affect about 30 percent of Medicare Part B recipients — the rest are protected from paying a higher premium under the program’s “hold harmless” provision.

Cost-of-living increases are determined by a decades-old formula that has driven up average benefits by 4.1 percent since it was enacted in the 1970s.

A total of 56 million people receive Social Security benefits.