On October 15, 2015 the Social Security Administration officially announced the cost of living adjustment (COLA) for 2016 to be ZERO.*
With a zero cost of living adjustment to consider, I would like to highlight a few aspects of Social Security in 2016 that have become official now that the COLA announcement has been made.
- Retirement and Disability benefit amounts will remain unchanged in 2016 compared to 2015 since there is no COLA for 2016
- The maximum earnings subject to SS taxes will remain at $118,500
- The earnings limit that is part of the “earnings test” will remain at $15,720 for the years prior to your full retirement age. This means you will not be subject to a reduction in SS retirement benefits due to remaining employed as long as you earn less than $15,720. If you earn more than that your benefits are reduced $1 for every $2 earned over that limit. Remember, that earnings limit goes away completely the month you reach your full retirement age.
- People currently receiving benefits and having their Medicare Part B premiums withheld from those benefits will be protected from any Medicare premium increase in 2016. However, if you did not claim Social Security benefits by October 2015 you will be exposed to the premium increases.
- Most Social Security offices will have longer hours of operation in 2016 to handle all the folks needing assistance in claiming and figuring out this giant puzzle we call Social Security.
As always, please let us know if we can answer any questions or assist you in your Social Security claiming decisions. We will be back next week with a more uplifting topic (hopefully) !!
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*This post was re-blogged from an earlier post on October 21, 2015.