If you’re a recipient of social security, you already know that the entire system tends to be a bit difficult to understand and it gets more complicated when rules and limits change every year. Here are some things to be aware of in 2017 if you receive social security benefits.
The first item of business is that all social security checks are increasing by .3 percent for the year as a cost-of-living increase. The amount of the increase is determined by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index. It is the same system of measurement the administration has used for the last 44 years, and most recipients tend to feel the adjustment is too low. The SSA has most likely already sent you a letter informing you of any change in your benefit amount for the New Year. It’s important to keep in mind that your benefit could increase or decrease, depending on how much your Medicare Part B premium is. If it has increased, you may notice that your benefit amount has gone down by a few dollars. The average social security retirement check amount will be $1,360 in 2017, $5 more than 2016’s average of $1,355.
Taxable earning limits will also be increasing. In 2016 the maximum amount of earnings subject to social security tax was $118,500, while in 2017 that amount is increasing to $127,200. Once an individual makes more than the threshold, future earnings are exempt from social security taxes. There have been discussions about increasing this limit when or if the social security system receives an overhaul, but only time will tell what legislation passes through both houses of Congress.
An individual has to earn more money to earn a social security credit in 2017. A person can earn a maximum of four credits per year, with each credit being $1,260 in 2016 and $1,300 in 2017. In other words, to earn four credits in 2016 you only needed to make $5,040, but in 2017 you have to earn $5,200 to get the full four credits.
Those who work and still receive full Social Security benefits are limited in how much they can earn. It increases from $15,720 in 2016 to $16,920 in 2017. Every $2 earned over this amount reduces the monthly benefit by $1.
Social Security benefits are constantly being discussed in federal government. Visit www.socialsecurityoffice.directory to find a Social Security Office in your area today. It’s essential to stay up-to-date to determine how the changes affect you.