Social Security earnings limit


Q: Has the government considered raising the earnings limit, given the financial strain many seniors are facing? Why does COLA have to be tied to the earnings limit?

A: The method used to determine the Social Security earnings limit and cost-of-living adjustments are governed by the same law, and are based on the CPI-W. Because the CPI-W has stayed in negative territory, no adjustments were made  in 2010, and none will be made in 2011.

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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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