2016 SOCIAL SECURITY CHANGES

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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:

Tax Rate:
2015 2016
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.
Maximum Taxable Earnings:
2015 2016
Social Security (OASDI only) $118,500 $118,500*
Medicare (HI only) N o   L i m i t
 
Quarter of Coverage:
2015 2016

 

$1,220 $1,260
 
Retirement Earnings Test Exempt Amounts:
2015 2016

Under full retirement age

NOTE: One dollar in benefits will be withheld for every $2 in earnings above the limit.

$15,720/yr.
($1,310/mo.)
$15,720/yr.*
($1,310/mo.)

The year an individual reaches full retirement age

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.

$41,880/yr.
($3,490/mo.)
$41,880/yr.*
($3,490/mo.)
 
Social Security Disability Thresholds:
2015 2016
Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)
     Non-Blind
     Blind

$1,090/mo.
$1,820/mo.

$1,130/mo.
$1,820/mo.*
Trial Work Period (TWP) $780/mo. $   810/mo.
 
Maximum Social Security Benefit:
2015 2016
Worker Retiring at Full Retirement Age $2,663/mo. $2,639/mo.**
 
SSI Federal Payment Standard:
2015 2016
Individual $733/mo. $  733/mo.*
Couple $1,100/mo. $1,100/mo.*
 
SSI Resources Limits:
2015 2016
Individual $2,000 $2,000
Couple $3,000 $3,000
 
SSI Student Exclusion:
2015 2016
Monthly limit $1,780 $1,780*
Annual limit $7,180 $7,180*
 
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 One or More Children   $1,983
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.