MONTPELIER, Vt. — Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders says a 0.3 percent increase for Social Security beneficiaries is not big enough.

The annual cost-of-living adjustment announced Tuesday will amount to less than $4 per month over the current average monthly Social Security payment of $1,238.

Sanders says that’s too small when senior poverty is up and prescription drug prices are rising sharply.

Sanders, an independent who ran in the Democratic presidential primaries this year, says the increase announced Tuesday doesn’t come close to meeting the needs of seniors.

The Associated Press reports that Medicare Part B premiums, which are usually deducted from Social Security payments, are expected to increase next year to the point in which they will probably wipe out the entire cost-of-living adjustment.