New Features on my Social Security
This month, we’ve made several enhancements and have introduced two new features to my Social Security. Your clients who have a my Social Security account will now have access to:
- The new Retirement Calculator to view retirement benefit estimates that compare their selected dates or ages to begin receiving retirement benefits to retirement benefit estimates for ages 62, Full Retirement Age (FRA), and 70. Users can also vary their expected future income for inclusion in the estimate.
- The new centralized Representative Payee portal for individual representative payees to conduct their own business or manage direct deposit, wage reporting, and annual reporting for their beneficiaries.
These new features, along with the existing benefits of having a my Social Security account, provide something for all account holders — beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries, both young and old. Encourage your clients to plan for their future and manage their present with a my Social Security account today at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
Social Security Benefits Increase in 2020
Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 69 million Americans will increase 1.6 percent in 2020, the Social Security Administration announced in October.
The 1.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) affects more than 63 million Social Security beneficiaries who will see the change in their January 2020 benefits. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2019. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits). The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $137,700 from $132,900.
Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are normally notified by mail in early December about their new benefit amount. In December 2019, Social Security COLA notices will be available online to most beneficiaries in the Message Center of their my Social Security account. This is a secure, convenient way to receive COLA notices online and save the message for later. Your clients can also opt out of receiving notices by mail that are available online at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
Information about Medicare changes for 2020, when announced, will be available at www.medicare.gov. For Social Security beneficiaries receiving Medicare, Social Security will not be able to compute their new benefit amount until after the Medicare premium amounts for 2020 are announced.
The Social Security Act describes how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.
Social Security — Strengthening Our Public Service, Together
We are pleased to announce that the Social Security Administration, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), and the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) have reached new six-year national agreements. The AFGE agreement went into effect on October 27, 2019, and the NTEU agreement will be effective November 10, 2019.
These new agreements reflect our commitment to public service. Together with a committed workforce, we will continue to deliver and improve our service to communities nationwide.
Medicare Open Enrollment
Let your clients know that the annual Medicare Open Enrollment period began on October 15 and continues until December 7. During the annual enrollment period, you and your clients can make changes to various aspects of your coverage.
Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. Certain people younger than age 65 can qualify for Medicare, too, including some people with disabilities and those who have permanent kidney failure.
Inform your clients that they can pick a new plan or change their existing one at www.medicare.gov.