Well, I plugged in the 2005 calculator updates and reran my same numbers. My PIA increased 2.36%. The COLA for 2005 is 2.7%. I think the difference is the wage-indexing adjustment. We had a discussion on that a while back but I'm still hazy on how it works...
cc, Thanks for the reply. It got me thinking...
The special statements I got were August of 2003 and August of 2004. Between those two was the .94% increase.
Before that, I had downloaded the Calculator in 2002, and again in 2003. But the August 2003 special statement showed a slightly larger $ amount than the calculator, so I had just decided to request specials every summer from then on.
Tonight I downloaded the new 2005.1 calculator, and loaded it up with all the data. And it came up with... a lower number! In fact, a familiar number I had had a while ago. Strange. I checked the version number, and it said 2002! Whaaa? I just downloaded it!
Hmmm, suspected that although having different SS calculator versions on the PC seemed to all peacefully coexist, that the calculations were always using a table from the oldest one! That would make sense why the 2003 "calculated" was different than the 2003 "statement"! So de-installed all versions of the calculator, and downloaded the 2005.1 again. This time it works. It shows the for 2005 amount to be 2.41% greater than the special estimate for 2004.
So this is what I think I have for increases due to yearly SSA wage adjustments, remembering that there are NO new wages in any of this:
2002 to 2003 Increases by 2.33%
2003 to 2004 Increases by 0.94%
2004 to 2005 Increases by 2.41%
Thanks again, cc! I'm feeling a little better about this now, at least it is increasing at a measurable fraction of CPI!