Social Security benefits for nearly 58 million people will increase by 1.5 percent next year.

Social Security benefits for nearly 58 million people will increase by 1.5 percent next year. The COLA affects benefits for more than one-fifth of the country. In addition to Social Security payments, it affects benefits for millions of disabled veterans, federal retirees and people who get Supplemental Security Income, the disability program for the poor. The amount of wages subject to Social Security taxes is also going up. Social Security is funded by a 12.4 percent tax on the first $113,700 in wages earned by a worker, with half paid by employers and the other half withheld from workers' pay….

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Social Security’s Life Expectancy Debate

For the past decade, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has projected lower 75-year deficits than the Social Security trustees. That relationship has now reversed, with CBO projecting a larger 75-year shortfall. One reason for the reversal is that CBO has switched from relying on the Social Security actuaries’ mortality assumptions and have come up with their own. The question is whether this is an earth-shattering development or another data point. Both the CBO and the trustees present almost an identical picture of Social Security relative to the economy. Social Security costs as a percent of GDP are scheduled to rise…

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Obama: Social Security Checks Will Stop When Debt Ceiling Is Reached

President Obama said last Thursday that while its bad members of Congress have allowed a government shutdown, it would be worse if they failed to increase the government's borrowing authority later this month. First and foremost, he said, retirement and disability benefits for millions of Americans would be at risk. More than 57 million Americans receive monthly benefits from the Social Security Administration. The average monthly check for retirees totaled $1,224 in Sept. The president's remarks followed a Treasury Department report detailing catastrophic consequences for Congress failing to allow the government to continue borrowing money to cover expenses. Not raising…

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Federal Government Shutdown Update

On October 1, the federal government was shutdown for the first time in 17 years after Congress failed to pass a stopgap spending plan. The following outlines how these U.S. Departments and agencies will function: the Social Security Administration, the United States Courts, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Legal Services Cor. The Social Security Administration (SSA) Status of Service Activities SSA Field Offices (FO) Continued FO Activities Discontinued FO Activities §  Application for benefits §  Request for appeals (reconsideration, hearings, Appeals Council) §  Normal post-entitlement actions: o   Change your address or…

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Social Security Secrets All Baby Boomers Must Know

David Wingate and Charles Pettit spoke on “Social Security Secrets All Baby Boomers Must Know.” At the Education Event we spoke about how to best prepare for electing your Social Security Benefit! Did you know: 1.    One decision can impact your retirement by tens of thousands of dollars.       2.  That the Social Security Administration workers are FORBIDDEN BY LAW to give you any advice for filing your claim.       3. That there are 567 ways to claim your Social Security Benefit? This educational event changed the way the attendees looked at Social Security, and the options they had to…

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California Bill Would Mandate Private Employee Retirement Savings

California lawmakers are pushing a controversial, first-in-the-nation plan that would require private-sector employers to remove 3 percent from every worker's paycheck. The money would go into a new state fund with a guarantee that all withheld funds plus investment gains will be available for distribution at retirement age. The idea behind the Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program, which got preliminary approval, is for it to be a state-run supplement to Social Security, but only for people who don't have traditional workplace retirement plans. For an estimated 6 million working Californians, the benefit of a pension or 401(k) is out of…

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Federal Agencies Release Retirement Toolkit

Three government agencies —the Department of Labor, the Social Security Administration, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services— have developed a retirement toolkit to enable workers to better plan for their retirement. The toolkit includes a list of publications and interactive tools to help in your planning, plus information on how to contact the agencies with specific questions. The toolkit stresses that it is important to start early and be well-informed so you can make timely decisions and, if necessary, make changes while you still have time before retirement.

Oldest Boomers Retiring at a Faster Rate Than Expected

Now turning 67, the first set of baby boomers are busting myths and aren’t working until they drop, as predicted, according to a study by the MetLife Mature Market Institute. Fifty-two percent of boomers born in 1946 are fully retired. Of those, 38 percent said they’re ready to retire, while 17 percent cited health reasons and 10 percent cited a job loss. The figures represent a big jump since 2007 and 2008, a significant leap from the 45 percent retired in 2011. “As the oldest Boomers dive into retirement, even though some have been forced to do so earlier than…

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Social Security Administration Makes Changes to POMS

The Social Security Administration recently amended the Program Operations Manual System regarding third party travel expenses and now finds certain third party travel expenses to be for the sole benefit of the trust beneficiary. Read the POMS.

Coalition Releases Report on Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Delays and Other Problems

A report from the Strengthen Social Security Coalition recognizes the importance of how core administrative functions impact the lives of 57 million Social Security and 8 million SSI recipients. At an event on Capitol Hill, National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC) Executive Director Paul Nathanson joined U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Keith Ellison (D-MN), David Cicilline (D-RI), as well as other Strengthen Social Security Coalition leaders. They spoke to fixes needed and called for more funding for administrative functions. Specifically, the Transition Report for the New Commissioner of Social Security report highlights problems with issues that the…

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