2/20/2013 3:15 PM ET|
7 Social Security changes for 2013
Greater online access means big changes to Social Security procedures this year. Find out what other changes have been made and how they affect you.
The Social Security Administration has implemented a variety of new rules and features for 2013. The two-year payroll tax cut has officially ended, and paper Social Security checks will soon cease to be printed. A growing number of Social Security services will also be online this year. Here's a look at some of the recent Social Security changes that go into effect this year:
Payroll tax cut ends: The temporary payroll tax cut was allowed to expire at the end of 2012. Workers who paid 4.2% of their income into the Social Security system in 2011 and 2012 have now resumed contributing 6.2% of their earnings.
Higher payroll tax cap: The payroll tax cap increased by $3,600, from $110,100 in 2012 to $113,700 in 2013. Workers who earn more than this threshold don't need to pay Social Security taxes on that income.
More online services: A trip to the Social Security office is no longer necessary to start your Social Security payments. A growing number of retirees are claiming Social Security payments online, largely thanks to an advertising campaign starring actors Patty Duke and George Takei. In 2012, workers could access their Social Security statements online for the first time, including their complete earnings history and expected payments. About 3 million people have already done so. In early 2013, Social Security added online services including the ability to access a benefit verification letter and payment history. Retirees can also change their address and add or change direct-deposit information online. "The ability to do this online, it will be a real convenience for the people who are required to have these benefit verification letters," says Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue. "It is going to allow us to focus on the kind of conversations that we really do need to have face to face."
Reduced office hours: Social Security offices are reducing the hours they are open to the public to save money and avoid paying overtime to workers. Social Security locations nationwide have been closing 30 minutes early each day since Nov. 19, 2012, and they began closing to the public at noon every Wednesday on Jan. 2.
Paper checks will end: On March 1, the Treasury department will stop mailing paper checks to Social Security recipients. Retirees will be required to choose to have their Social Security payments either directly deposited into a bank or credit union account or loaded onto a prepaid Direct Express Debit MasterCard. "If you already have a bank account or credit union account, we encourage you, and it's our preference that you sign up for direct deposit," says Walt Henderson, the director of the electronic fund transfer strategy division at the Treasury Department. "The debit card is primarily for unbanked benefit recipients. We don't want people who already have a bank account to feel that they have to get the debit card." New Social Security beneficiaries have been required to choose an electronic payment option since May 2011, and approximately 93% of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are already being made electronically.
Higher earnings limit: People between ages 62 and 66 who work and collect Social Security benefits at the same time might have part or all of their Social Security benefit temporarily withheld. Workers between ages 62 and 65 can earn up to $15,120 in 2013, after which $1 in benefits will be withheld for every $2 of income above the earnings limit. People who turn 66 this year can earn up to $40,080, and then $1 of benefits will be withheld for every $3 earned above the limit. However, once you turn 66, the earnings limit no longer applies. And benefits may be recalculated at age 66 to reflect the withheld benefits and continued earnings.
Bigger payments: Social Security beneficiaries began receiving payments that were 1.7% larger in January. The average monthly Social Security benefit in January increased from $1,240 to $1,261 as a result of the cost-of-living adjustment.
More from U.S. News & World Report:
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not to mention all the people from the horn of africa that lutheran social services have brought over in the last ten years! off the plane and right over to medicaid, public housing and SSI, now tell me why the system is stressed???
I collect SSA and a retirement from Military and Fed service which add up to barely enough to live on. I have turned 70 and still need to work P/T, but I certainly can't complain for a payout and health coverage at this age.
it is not just illegals. I worked at local social service office. plenty of organizations sponsor immigrants for entry but do not support them or just for a month or so. then , they come down looking for public assistance , Medicaid, and food stamps. a lot of them end up on ssi, without ever having pt a single dime of payments into the system.
if you sponsor somebody into the country, it should be a law that you have to support them until they become a citizen, or for at least 4 years. that would cut down on religious and other agencies with money from dumping the people onto the taxpayer to support when they are the ones who brought the people here in the first place.
History Lesson on Your Social Security Card
Just in case some of you young whippersnappers (& some older ones) didn't know this.
It's easy to check out, if you don't believe it. Be sure and show it to your family
and friends. They need a little history lesson on what's what and it doesn't matter
whether you are Democrat or Republican. Facts are Facts.
Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social
Security (FICA) Program. He promised:
1.) That participation in the Program would be
No longer Voluntary
2.) That the participants would only have to pay
1% of the first $1,400 of their annual
Incomes into the Program,
on the first $113,700
3.) That the money the participants elected to put
into the Program would be deductible from
their income for tax purposes each year,
No longer tax deductible
4.) That the money the participants put into the
independent 'Trust Fund' rather than into the
general operating fund, and therefore, would
only be used to fund the Social Security
Retirement Program, and no other
Government program, and,
Under Johnson the money was moved to
The General Fund and Spent
5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed
Under Clinton & Gore
Up to 85% of your Social Security can be Taxed
Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and are
now receiving a Social Security check every month --
and then finding that we are getting taxed on 85% of
the money we paid to the Federal government to 'put
away' -- you may be interested in the following:
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ----
Q: Which Political Party took Social Security from the
independent 'Trust Fund' and put it into the
general fund so that Congress could spend it?
A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the democratically
controlled House and Senate.
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --
Q: Which Political Party eliminated the income tax
deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding?
A: The Democratic Party.
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----
Q: Which Political Party started taxing Social
A: The Democratic Party, with Al Gore casting the
'tie-breaking' deciding vote as President of the
Senate, while he was Vice President of the US
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
Q: Which Political Party decided to start
giving annuity payments to immigrants?
AND MY FAVORITE:
A: That's right!
Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party.
Immigrants moved into this country, and at age 65,
began to receive Social Security payments! The
Democratic Party gave these payments to them,
even though they never paid a dime into it!
------------ -- ------------ --------- ----- ------------ --------- ---------
Then, after violating the original contract (FICA),
the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want
to take your Social Security away!
I am retired and I remember when the government changed the retirement age for my age group. For years
I thought I would be retiring at 65, but that did not matter in the end as I ended up retiring early because of
several health problems. I have medicare but only use the hospital for emergency ,I get all my medical care
at the VA due to seious injury in military. I am against Obama allowing illegals to become citizens its just
not right if he does that he will be screwing over the whole social security system and cause it to go
bankrupt much faster and it wont be Bushes fault it will all be OBAMAS FAULT. He is the worst democratic
president we have had since Carter. Even carter did not try to change constitution.Carter followed protocals
and used Congress according to the laws laid out by the founding fathers.
Democrats gave us:
Social Security> Roosevelt 1936
G.I. Bill> Truman 1946
Medicare/ Medicaid> Johnson 1964
Heath Care> Obama 2014
Every time Republicans said it was Socialist/Communist and so on. Get your facts straight, and wake up people. Republicans want to take all these away.
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