The Social Security Administration has made several changes for the year 2013. Effective March 1 is the elimination of paper checks. Recipients will be receiving benefits either by direct deposit to bank account, or through a prepaid debit card. This may reduce the possibility of checks being stolen from mailboxes, or being mailed to the inappropriate parties.
Taxpayers were saving money in 2011 and 2012 by contributing 4.2% of their income into the social security system as opposed to the higher rate of 6.2% in 2013, based on maximum earnings of $113.700. It is an increase over the $110,100. that were allowed in earnings in 2012.Another increase refers to Medicare Part B monthly premiums. They were at $99.90 in 2012, and increased to $104.90 for 2013.
This year also brings more ways of saving money to retirees. For example, transportation costs can be avoided by going online and performing a lot of the tasks which previously had to be done at the office. Filing can be done online, but retirees will also be able to receive benefit verification letters, check earnings and payment history, file an appeal, change address and phone number, request a replacement Medicare card or a form 1099. And there exists the option to block electronic and automated telephone access to one’s account. It is all personalized as it is called “My Social Security Accounts” online.
Social Security office will be saving money through the reduction of workers’ hours. Overtime hours will not be in effect. Offices will also close at twelve o’clock noon on Wednesdays. This reduction of office and workers’ hours is made possible by all the services that can be performed online.
For those still working and collecting social security, there will be an increase in the maximum earnings amount before the benefit amount is decreased. In 2012 workers could earn up to $14,640. That figure has increased to $15,120. For every $2. over that earnings limit, $1 will be withheld from the social security check. Fortunately, for those turning 66 in 2013, the earnings limit is $40,680. For every $3. over that earnings limit, $1. will be withheld.
The one item which gets the most attention from individuals may very well be the cost-of-living adjustment. 2013 sees an increase of 1.7%, down from 3.6% in 2012. Overall, the 2013 changes are worth noting as they affect every recipient involved.