Social Security can be a big part of your retirement income. We can help you maximize your benefits. Sometimes you can receive more than one million dollars!
Federal Employees Who Are Covered
All federal employees newly hired after December 31, 1983, are covered by Social Security and will pay Social Security taxes. This also includes employees with previous federal service (other than rehired annuitants) if their break in service was a year or longer.
Coverage by Social Security
The old-age, survivors, and disability insurance program is a federal program designed to protect the worker and his family against economic insecurity when the family’s earnings are stopped or reduced because of the worker’s disability, death, or retirement.
The program is financed through special taxes paid by workers, their employers, and self-employed people, rather than through general taxation. These taxes are based on earnings under Social Security. Paid monthly, any one of the three kinds of benefits provided under the program means a significant and regular replacement of lost family income.
As a general rule, the amount of Social Security benefits you’ll qualify to receive are based on a combination of your earnings which have been subject to Social Security tax and whether you have earned enough “credits” in your Social Security account.
We recommend that you check on your Social Security every 3 years. If there is an error you only have 3 years and 3 months to get it corrected.
Being fully insured is a status achieved after a worker accumulates a specific number of “quarters of coverage” under the Social Security system. You will need 40 quarters to be fully insured for life. Therefore, an individual employed for at least 10 years in jobs covered by Social Security can normally assume that they are fully insured.
In Social Security language, an individual’s full (100%) old-age entitlement is referred to as their “Primary Insurance Account (PIA)”. As a general rule, if you wait until reaching the age of 65 before applying for old-age benefits, the amount you receive is based on your full PIA entitlement. Note that the age at which full retirement benefits are payable will be gradually increased from age 65 to 67 over the coming years. This will be accomplished by increasing the age for full benefits by two months per year for workers who will reach the age of 62 in the year 2000. So if you were born in 1938 or after you may need to be 67 to receive full Social Security.
Estimating Social Security Benefits
Because the computation methods are so complex, it’s almost impossible for a person to accurately determine the exact amount of benefits they will qualify to receive at some future point in time. This is primarily because benefits can be computed in one of several ways and benefit entitlements are constantly changing.
Quote from a Social Security Statement:
About Social Security’s Future…Social Security is a compact between generations. Since 1935, America has kept the promise of security for its workers and their families. Now, however, the Social Security system is facing serious financial problems, and action is needed soon to make sure the system will be sound when today’s younger workers are ready for retirement. Without changes, in 2033 the Social Security Trust Fund will be able to pay only 75 cents for each dollar of scheduled benefits.* We need to resolve these issues soon to makes sure Social Security continues to provide a foundation of protection for future generations. *These estimates are based on the intermediate assumptions from the Social Security Trustee’s Annual Report to the Congress.
Retirement Ages for Full Social Security Benefits
If you were born in: Your full retirement age is: 1937 or earlier 65 1938 65 and 2 months 1939 65 and 4 months 1940 65 and 6 months 1941 65 and 8 months 1942 65 and 10 months 1943-1954 66 1955 66 and 2 months 1956 66 and 4 months 1957 66 and 6 months 1958 66 and 8 months 1959 66 and 10 months 1960 or later 67
For current information about Social Security benefits call: 1-800-772-1213
or visit www.socialsecurity.gov