Social Security recipients will see a cost of living increase in their benefits next year, the first in almost three years.

The Social Security Administration announced Wednesday the more than 60 million Americans receiving SSI benefits will see a 3.6 percent increase beginning in December.

Increased payments will go out to more than 8 million beneficiaries beginning Dec. 30, 2011, and the remaining 55 million will see a cost of living increase in January.

The inflation adjustment means the maximum benefits for a retiree in 2012 will be $2,513, up from $2,336 in 2011. Average monthly benefits will rise to $1,229 from $1,186 for all retirees and to $1,994 from $1,925 for couples.

There will also be a new limit on the amount early retirees can earn without seeing a cut in the benefits. Workers can take reduced benefits at age 62 but will lose $1 of benefits for every $2 they earn above a certain amount.

To pay for the cost of living increases, workers will see Social Security Taxes go up. The maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax will increase to $110,100 from $106,800. The administration said about 10 million of the estimated 161 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2012, will pay higher taxes as a result of the increase.

Social Security beneficiaries haven’t seen a cost-of-living increase since 2009.