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No increase in Social Security benefits for 2nd straight year, government says

By Amy Goldstein
Friday, October 15, 2010; 8:53 AM

For the second year in a row, the nearly 54 million retirees and other Americans who receive Social Security benefits will not get any cost-of-living increase in 2011 in their monthly checks, government officials announced Friday morning.

The absence of any growth in Social Security checks for consecutive years is unprecedented in the 3 1/2 decades that payments have been automatically adjusted according to the nation's inflation rate. The Social Security Administration made the announcement moments after the Labor Department released the latest figures for the consumer price index. They show that prices for the third quarter of this year rose by 1.5 percent compared with a year earlier, but fell by 0.6 percent compared with the same time in 2008.

In a symptom of the weak economy, last year marked the first time since the automatic formula has existed that consumer prices fell, so Social Security recipients were given no increase in their checks.

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