WASHINGTON — The nation's 38 million Social Security beneficiaries will receive a 4.2% benefit increase in January, the highest in 5 1/2 years, the government said today.
In a week of financial nightmares for many, the Social Security Administration said the increase promises an extra $21 a month in the check of the average retired worker, who now gets $492 a month from the huge pension and disability insurance program.
It said the maximum monthly benefit for a worker retiring in 1987 at age 65 will rise $33, from $789 to $822.
The size of the increase became official today when the Labor Department announced a consumer price index of 339.1 for September. The increase of 4.2% is the same as the inflation rate for urban wage earners and clerical workers from the third quarter of 1986 through the third quarter of 1987.