How Social Security Data Can Help Boost Your Retirement Benefits
Social Security Administration office in San Francisco.
If you plan properly, you may be able to increase your Social Security retirement benefits.
and newly redesigned feature data The Social Security Administration may help you do exactly that.
This applies to workers of all ages who contribute to the program – from 18 to 70 and over.
The data can be accessed online by creating a file My Social Security the account. People age 60 and older who are not currently receiving benefits and have not registered for an online account must receive their statements in the mail three months before their birthday.
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With a redesigned design, the Social Security Administration aims to make it easier for workers to find information at a glance and simplify its complex programs. These data are now accompanied by fact sheets designed for specific age groups.
The agency recommends that workers of all ages review their data annually for accuracy.
Experts say these records also hold clues about how to make the most of the benefits you’re getting. In addition, there is additional information that is not included in that data that you should look for.
The redesigned data now contains a blue bar graph that includes estimates of benefits when claimed at nine different ages.
If you claim at age 62, when you first become eligible, you get permanently reduced benefits.
The amount of your benefit check will increase for each year you wait until age 70. If you claim your full retirement age — generally 66 or 67, depending on your birth year — you’ll get 100% of the benefits you earned. Wait after this age, and your benefits will increase even more. This stops at age 70, as there is no increase in delayed benefits beyond that point.
The chart included in the statement shows the expected monthly retirement benefit amount from ages 62 to 70.
“The blue ribbon model is a welcome addition for workers who need information to help them make good choices about their benefits,” said David Freitag, financial planning consultant and social security expert at MassMutual.
The new data also includes a table of the worker’s earnings history, with taxable earnings for Social Security and Medicare broken down separately.
However, the new statement only includes 20-year earnings, while the previous statement format included all years in the worker’s earnings history.
A full earnings history is available in workers’ personal Social Security accounts. Experts say that looking at just 20 years is limited, and it’s important to take an extra step to see your full earnings history.
Social Security calculates your average monthly earnings based on your top 35 earning years.
But mistakes can happen. The Social Security Administration and other experts advise workers to do so Check their earnings history To make sure it shows the correct amount earned each year and that none of your income has been deleted.
“This is a valuable exercise that people should do to make sure they don’t get any misreported earnings,” said Joe Elsasser, founder and president of Covisum, a software company that advocates for Social Security.
“Sometimes people have a zero and they shouldn’t have it,” he said.
Seeing your complete earnings history can also help tell you how much benefits could be adjusted if you worked in jobs where you earned a pension and didn’t pay Social Security taxes. Known as the Sudden Profit Elimination Allowance or State Pension Compensation, this compensation affects the eligibility of you and your family.
“The only powerful way to test a WEP/GPO compensation is to see the entire earnings history,” Freitag said.
In addition to the retirement benefit entitlement, the statement also provides an estimate of what your monthly income would be if you claimed disability benefits.
There are also estimates of how much monthly income through survivor benefits your eligible spouse or minor children would receive if you died.
The statement of benefits will also let you know if you’ve earned enough credits to qualify for Medicare at age 65.
Even if you don’t retire at 65, you may need to register within three months of that birthday to avoid Lifetime late registration penalty, According to the Social Security Administration.