Oct 29th, 2012 | By | Category: Social Security & Medicare

What Changes Can Seniors Expect?

It’s that time of year when we seniors need to learn about the changes to our Social Security benefits for next year. What are they, and when will they take effect?  Here is a summary of the changes, and a link to the Social Security website where there is a lot more detail.

  • First, the cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) for 2013 is a 1.7 percent increase. That begins with our January checks.
  • The maximum taxable earnings for current workers rises next year, from $110,100 this year to $113,700 in 2013.  That means that there is a ceiling of $113,700 on earnings.  Taxes do not increase on earnings over that limit.  This is an issue SCJ has talked about for several years now. If the ceiling were raised or eliminated, and wealthy Americans paid their fair share of taxes, we wouldn’t be talking about having to change anything in the Social Security program.
  • Social Security Credits change from $1,130 to $1,160.  This means current workers receive one credit for every $1,160 they earn, up to a maximum of four credits per year. Workers need 40 credits (ten years of work) to be eligible for Social Security benefits.
  • In 2013, workers receiving Social Security benefits will have to ‘give back’ $1 for every $2 they earn above the limit of $15,120. That limit was $14,640 this year (2012) for workers up to 66, full retirement age.  There are more details about this on the Social Security website.  Benefits that are ‘given back’ are actually returned after full retirement age, because the benefit for those workers is recalculated to include the ‘give back’ amounts.

Remember, this is just a summary.  You can find a lot more detail on a variety of Internet websites.  Just enter ‘social security changes 2012’ in your favorite search engine, and you will find more detail than you probably want!

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