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2016 SOCIAL SECURITY CHANGES

Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA):
Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will not automatically increase in 2016 as there was no increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015.  Other important 2016 Social Security information is as follows:
 
2015                            2016
  o        Tax Rate:
Employee                                                          7.65%                          7.65%
Self-Employed                                               15.30%                        15.30%
                 NOTE:  The 7.65% tax rate is the combined rate for Social Security and Medicare.  The Social Security portion (OASDI) is 6.20% on earnings up to the applicable taxable maximum amount (see below).  The Medicare portion (HI) is 1.45% on all earnings. Also, as of January 2013, individuals with earned income of more than $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly) pay an additional 0.9 percent in Medicare taxes. The tax rates shown above do not include the 0.9 percent.
 
  o        Maximum Taxable Earnings:
                              Social Security (OASDI only)                       $118,500                    $118,500*
Medicare (HI only)                                                     N o    L i m i t
 
  o        Quarter of Coverage:                                   $1,220                         $1,260
 
o         Retirement Earnings Test Exempt Amounts:
Under full retirement age                               $15,720/yr.                 $15,720/yr.*
                                                                                    ($1,310/mo.)               ($1,310/mo.)
            NOTE:  One dollar in benefits will be withheld for every $2 in earnings above the limit.
The year an individual reaches full               $41,880/yr.                 $41,880/yr.*
  retirement age                                              ($3,490/mo.)               ($3,490/mo.)
NOTE:  Applies only to earnings for months prior to attaining full retirement age.  One dollar in benefits will be withheld for every $3 in earnings above the limit.
          There is no limit on earnings beginning the month an individual attains full retirement age.
 
o       Social Security Disability Thresholds:
 
            Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)
                        Non-Blind                                           $1,090/mo.                  $1,130/mo.
                        Blind                                                   $1,820/mo.                  $1,820/mo.*
            Trial Work Period (TWP)                              $   780/mo.                  $   810/mo.
 
  o        Maximum Social Security Benefit:  Worker Retiring at Full Retirement Age:
                                                                                    $2,663/mo.                   $2,639/mo.**                                                     
  o        SSI Federal Payment Standard:
Individual                                                       $  733/mo.                   $  733/mo.*
Couple                                                            $1,100/mo.                  $1,100/mo.*
 
  o        SSI Resources Limits:
                              Individual                                                       $2,000                         $2,000
Couple                                                            $3,000                         $3,000
 
o        SSI Student Exclusion:
          Monthly limit                                                 $1,780                         $1,780*
          Annual limit                                                   $7,180                         $7,180*
 
o        Estimated Average Monthly Social Security Benefits Payable in January 2016:
 
All Retired Workers                                                                           $1,341
                         Aged Couple, Both Receiving Benefits                                             $2,212
Widowed Mother and Two Children                                                 $2,680
Aged Widow(er) Alone                                                                      $1,285
                              Disabled Worker, Spouse and                                                            $1,983
 One or More Children
All Disabled Workers                                                                        $1,166
 
* Because there is no COLA, by law these amounts remain unchanged in 2016.
 
** A decrease in full maximum benefits occurs when there is no COLA, but there is an increase in the national average wage index.
 

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