With the New Year and new politics, a major concern for many is health insurance and social security benefits. Maybe this is the year you plan to retire and take full advantage of what is offered. Maybe you are already one of the 60 million Americans who receive social security benefits. In this blog post, find out what social security changes you should look for in 2017.
Social Security Changes
There are a few social security changes to look for in the New Year.
- There was an increase in taxable earnings – the magic number is now $127,200. This affects 12 million individuals currently contributing to social security. Workers generally contribute 6.2 percent of their earnings to social security, along with any company benefits, so those who make more money will contribute more.
- Social security benefits will increase by .3 percent, contributing on average five more dollars a month.
- The maximum social security benefit $2,687 per month. This is a bump from 2016’s maximum monthly benefit of $2,639.
- For those still working while collecting social security, for every two dollars earned over $16,920, benefits will be reduced by one dollar. If it is the year you are eligible to retire, it is one out of every three dollars earned over $44,880. Once you completely retire, your benefits are recalculated and you may get back some of these deductions.
- No longer can you claim retirement benefits then suspend them. Previously, spouses could accept their partner’s benefits, but this is no longer allowed in 2017.
- The only exception to this rule involved divorced couples where one individual can continue to collect the ex-spouses benefits while they continue to work.
- Additionally, couples can no longer both file to collect both individual and spousal benefits. This social security change means that retired, married couples will receive the greater of the two options instead of collecting on both.
Social Security Consistencies
If this is your first time thinking about social security, here are a few things you should know.
- The age of retirement depends on the year you were born. Anyone born before 1937 can retire at 65. Births between 1938 and 1954 can retire before 66. 1955 to 1959 births can retire before 67. Those born after 1960 must wait until 67.
- There are reductions in benefits if you choose to retire before this age. If you retire four years before your eligible age, benefits can be reduced by about 25 percent.
- The longer you wait to retire, the greater your social security benefits.
- It takes about three months to get set up with social security, so contact the Social Security Administration online or over the phone to sign up with plenty of time before the date you need the benefits to begin.
- In March 2013, the Department of Treasury stopped sending checks through the mail. Any benefits are directly deposited into your bank account or sent via a debit card.
Everything you need to know about social security can be found on their website, including any social security changes happening in 2017!