Beneficiaries Have Received an Increase
Effective January 1, Social Security beneficiaries have received a 2.8% cost of living adjustment (COLA). This cost of living adjustment is an aid to keeping in check with inflation. It is the largest increase in COLA since 2012 when the adjustment was at 1.7 and will be paid out to more than 62 million Social Security beneficiaries. The Social Security Act relates the annual COLA with the increase in the CPI (Consumer Price Index) which is informed by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. This also boosts the average monthly Social Security payment to $1461 from $1422 in 2018.
Social Security Credits Require More Earnings
40 Social Security credits—in which one represents a quarter of coverage, are needed to qualify for Social Security. One credit translates to $1360 in earnings. This is $40 greater than the prior year, which means that more earnings are required per credit than before. You can obtain a maximum of 4 credits per year. The Social Security credits you earn will count toward Medicare eligibility upon reaching age 65.
Maximum Taxable Earnings Have Risen
Following a trend that has been happening since at least 2015, in which the maximum taxable earnings were $118,500. They have steadily increased to where they are now in 2019: $132,900. In terms of health insurance for retirees, it’s important to consider that depending on your income, the standard part B premium amount is $135.50 or higher. Retirees who get Social Security benefits end up paying less than that amount ($130 on average according to Medicare).
Maximum Monthly Benefit Has Increased
Due to the fact that the max taxable earnings have increased, maximum monthly benefits have also increased. In 2018, the maximum monthly benefit for someone claiming it at the full retirement age was $2788 and for 2019 it is $2861. These benefits are only acquirable to those who have been paying the maximum taxable earnings for at minimum, 35 working years.
Full Retirement Age is Rising
The full retirement age for Social Security has been steadily increasing over the years. If you were born in 1937 or earlier, the full retirement age is 65 for you. Then, from 1943 to 1954 the full retirement age starts at 66. If you were born in 1957, it increases from 66 and four months to 66 and six months. The retirement age increases two months at a time as it goes up and is set to increase up to a full retirement age of 67 for anyone born in 1960 or later.
Retiree Health Benefits
Benistar is a nationwide leader in group retiree medical benefits. With the rising costs of health insurance as well as the increased costs of prescription medications, it is important to have access to quality retirement plans that can make the most out of your hard-earned Social Security Benefits. Visit our contact page or give us a call today at 1-(800)-236-4782.