Three Significant Changes in Social Security in 2017

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Social Security Administration BuildingEvery year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) implements changes in its system to adjust to the dynamics of the time. This year, they have made significant modifications that could affect working or retired individuals.

The SSA is one of the government agencies that are always tweaking policies to keep in tune with the needs of the times, often related to social security benefits and charges. For 2017, here are some of the significant changes you need to be aware of:

Slight Increase in Payments

The agency announced that starting January, social security payments will increase by about 0.3 percent. It will also add about $5 each month to the cost of living adjustment of a regular social security beneficiary, based on a Newsweek article. For example, if a retired worker is receiving a regular monthly payment of $1,355.00, he or she can expect to receive $1,360 moving forward.

The SSA adjusts the benefits each year based on its consumer price index analysis, which also has an impact on the payout of social security disability benefits in states like Arkansas.

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Retirement Age Adjustment

One of the most discussed issues when it comes to social security is raising the retirement age. The current age for early retirement is 62 years old, which allows you to start collecting benefits. If you want to receive a larger monthly payout, though, you must wait until you reach the full retirement age of 66 years old. If the plan of the current Congress pushes through, the retirement age will be increased by three years, making 69 years old the full retirement age.

Higher Tax Cap

Around 6.2 percent of the earnings of regular workers go to social security, while their employers match the amount until their salary surpasses the maximum taxable earnings. According to a fact sheet provided by SSA, the amount of maximum taxable earnings will go up this year, due to an increase in average wages. Observers predict that around 12 million American workers will have to pay an extra amount to the Social Security system because of this change.

Whether you are still working or currently retired, or collecting social security disability benefits, keeping an eye on changes in the social security system is important, as it affects you. If you are retiring soon, it would be to your best interest to get a social security expert to assist you. Doing so will help you get the maximum potential benefits that you deserve under the current setup.