top of page
  • Writer's pictureChris Stein, CFP®

Five Changes to Social Security for 2017

Every year the Social Security Administration updates many key figures within their system.  With the New Year starting, now is a good time to review the updates for 2017.  These figures, and more, can be found at


Social Security benefits will receive a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2017 in the amount of 0.3%…  Anemic by any measure, but better than the 0% we saw for 2016.  These increases will be seen in all benefits paid starting in January.

2. Maximum Taxable Earnings

Maximum Taxable Earnings will increase from $118,500 to $127,200. This is the limit on a person’s earnings that are subject to the 6.2% withholding for Social Security.  The total withheld is actually 12.4%, but if you are not self-employed your employer pays half.

3. Quarters of Coverage

To earn a Quarter of Coverage you will need to earn $1,300, which is up from $1,260 in 2016. You need to earn 40 quarters of coverage to be eligible for SS retirement benefits.  Since you can earn no more than 4 per year it takes at least 10 years of gainful employment to qualify for this benefit.

4. Earnings Test

Earning Test Exempt amount increases to $16,920 from $15,720 in 2016. This test is applied if you are collecting SS benefits prior to your full retirement age (FRA).  Your benefit will be decreased by $1 for every $2 earned above this limit.  This limit goes away the month you reach FRA.

5. Maximum Retirement Benefit

Maximum SS Retirement benefit at FRA will be $2,687/month. This is the maximum FRA retirement benefit a person can earn if they had at least 35 years of earnings at or above the maximum taxable limit.  Very few people earn a benefit this high, with the average being about $1,360/month.

We always welcome your questions, so if you would like us to cover something specific please let us know!!

For more information on this topic, please use the play button below to listen to the audio post.

Subscribe: Android | RSS

10 views0 comments


bottom of page