U.S. Social Security card designs over the past several decades are shown in this photo illustration taken in Toronto, Canada on January 7, 2017. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of retirees on Social Security will get a 5.9% boost in benefits for 2022.

The biggest cost-of-living adjustment in 39 years follows a burst in inflation as the economy struggles to shake off the drag of the coronavirus pandemic.

The COLA increase amounts to $92 a month for the average retired worker, according to estimates released Wednesday by the Social Security Administration.

The increase affects household budgets for about 1 in 5 Americans, nearly 70 million people, including Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees.

Policymakers say it’s a safeguard to protect benefits against a loss of purchasing power, and not a pay raise for retirees.