While the Social Security program has stayed relatively the same over the years, there are always small changes that anyone on Social Security needs to know. Chances are that you, or someone you know, is receiving Social Security benefits or paying into the system for your own retirement later on. In 2015, there will be small changes to the program, just like there have been in many other years. Here are 3 important facts about Social Security in 2015 that you need to know now:
Fact #1: Payments Are Rising And So Is Income Subject To Taxation
In January 2015, Social Security recipients will see an increase in their benefit amount. (If you were not aware of the increase, see our article here outlining how much the increase will be.) This cost of living increase also will increase the taxable income for those receiving Social Security from $117,500 to $118,500. It will also increase the maximum amount for those reaching full retirement age in 2015 will go from $2,642 to $2,663.
Fact #2: Personal Statements Will Be Mailed Out Again (For Some Recipients)
Many people remember receiving printed statements from Social Security that showed how much their benefits will be once they reach retirement age. These statements were a staple until 2011, when they stopped being mailed out due to budget cuts. In 2015, these printed statements are making a comeback for some people. For those that are turning 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, or 60 this year, and have not signed up for an online account through Social Security, you will be receiving a printed statement this year. These statements will show you what the estimate of your benefits will be and provide a copy of your earnings record for the time that you have worked and paid into the program. (If you have not signed up and you do not want to wait for one of these birthday milestones to arrive, you can sign up online for an account and view your statement.)
Fact #3: In 2015, The Financial Health Of The Program Will Be Evaluated
Around April 1, 2015, the annual report from the Social Security Trustees will be published that will show the overall stability and financial health of the program. The reason this report is important is that it will provide an update on the estimated timeline for when the trust funds for Social Security will empty. The last report showed that the funds would be empty by 2033 and payments would actually be cut by about 23%. When the report is released, Congress will likely pass a combination of bills that will help to shore up the system until then with things like benefit cuts and tax increases.
So what does this mean for those receiving Social Security benefits? It means there will be an increase in payments for a cost of living raise in 2015 and that it will be easier for others to know what their benefits will be in the future. It also means that you should be paying attention to the annual reports to prepare for the future even if you are already on Social Security benefits. Many people depend on Social Security alone to make it through retirement, so understanding the changes and the updates to the system are a requirement for everyone.
If you are currently applying for Social Security or if you have a loved on that is having problems with the application process or has been denied, contact our offices today for a free consultation with an experienced Social Security attorney. (918) 582 – 2500.
Other great Social Security articles on our site:
How Many Social Security Credits Do I Need For Disability Benefits?
4 Things To Know About Religious Accommodation At Work