Social Security Beneficiaries to Get 1.7% COLA Bump

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

October 23,2014 — Monthly Social Security retirement benefits will increase 1.7 percent in 2015. The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) begins in January 2015 and affects benefits received by more than 58 million Social Security beneficiaries. The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.

More Changes
The amount that beneficiaries under age 66 can receive before having their benefits reduced has also changed. Recipients of Social Security under age 66 can earn up to $15,720 in 2015. For every $2 earned above the limit $1 in benefits will be withheld. Retirees who will turn 66 in 2015 and have signed up for Social Security can earn up to $41,880 – after that for every $3 earned above the limit $1 in benefits being withheld. Once they turn 66 there are no reductions.
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Another change that takes effect in January is the increase in average wages paying Social Security tax. The maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $118,500 from $117,000. Of the estimated 168 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2015, about 10 million will pay higher taxes because of the increase in the taxable maximum.

Medicare premiums/deductibles staying same
The standard Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles are not increasing in 2015, remaining unchanged in 2015 at $104.90 and $147, respectively. The same is true for higher income people, who pay higher premiums. The Part A deductible is increasing $44. You can find all the facts here: (Note, this paragraph was added after some of the comments below were made.)

Statements Being Mailed
In other news the Social Security Administration announced that workers attaining ages 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60 who are not receiving Social Security benefits and who are not registered for a my Social Security account will receive Social Security Statements in the mail about 3 months before their birthday. After age 60, people will receive a Statement every year. The agency expects to send nearly 48 million Statements each year.

The Social Security Administration encourages everyone to open up a MySocialSecurity Account so that they can access their potential benefit information online, anytime.

For further reading
What You Don’t Know About Social Security Could Hurt You (3 part series)

Comments? How is your experience with Social Security going. Use the Comments section below to let us know.



Posted by Admin on October 23rd, 2014

4 Comments »

  1. I’d be lost without it!

    by John H — October 27, 2014

  2. Our wonderful givamint is providing many benefits, welfare payments (some legit) and monies to all kinds of immigrants coming into this nation and is now going to provide us Senior Citizens with a 1.7% increase!! WOW – isn’t that just wonderful. Have you checked the cost of living lately? Forget their “false” COLA numbers they do not deal with reality.

    For those that are excited about this wonderful so called “raise” be reminded that at the same time you rcv this ENORMOUS amount your medicare payments INCREASE = DUH!

    Editor’s note: Actually no, medicare Part B premiums and deductibles are not increasing in 2015. See addition to story above.

    by Robert — October 28, 2014

  3. Robert, I couldn’t agree with you more about the fact that the 1.7% COLA increase in our Social Security checks starting in 2015 does not even come close in keeping pace with the our ever increasing cost of living, so the people who are in charge here are apparently not living in the real world, because all you have to do is to make a trip to the grocery store every week to know how much prices there are continually rising, not to mention our utilities, etc. However, it was my understanding from what I read that Medicare payments were not increasing this time around. Is that incorrect?

    Editor’s note: Valerie, you are correct. The standard Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles are NOT increasing in 2015, remaining unchanged in 2015 at $104.90 and $147, respectively. The same is true for higher income people, who pay higher premiums. The Part A deductible is increasing $44. You can find all the facts at this link: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2014pres/10/20141009a.html

    by Valerie — October 29, 2014

  4. What’s the cap on sales taxes? Income taxes? Property taxes? Correct – there is no cap on any other tax so why SS? I’ve been told that it’s because that person making more than $117,000 can’t expect to get back the money they pay in over their lifetime. That’s strange since we’ve been told the money we paid isn’t in a special account for each of us since it’s a tax. Well, which is it?
    Bottom line, eliminate the cap over time. Make it like every other tax.

    by Deb M — October 29, 2014

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