If you want to know more about the COLA formula, read my July 18, 2019, article: The Calculation: Why The Social Security COLA Will Sink In 2020
In short, the COLA is based on an unusual inflation index – CPI-W – and is determined by averaging the indexes for July, August and September and comparing that number with the same average for last year. Here’s a look at the numbers after the July inflation report, with two months to go:
The SSA has projected a 1.8% COLA increase for 2020. It could happen. My estimate would be in the range of 1.6% to 1.8%. Is 1.4% possible? Yes, but I think the weak inflation of the 3rd quarter of 2018 makes that unlikely.