Social Security Announces 2.0 Percent Benefit Increase for 2018
Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase 2.0 percent in 2018, the Social Security Administration announced today.
The 2.0 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 61 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2018. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 29, 2017. (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 $128,700 from $127,200. Of the estimated 175 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2018, about 12 million will pay more because of the increase in the taxable maximum.
Information about Medicare changes for 2018, when announced, will be available at www.medicare.gov.
The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.
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2018 SOCIAL SECURITY CHANGES
Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA):
Based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) from the third quarter of 2016 through the third quarter of 2017, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries will receive a 2.0 percent COLA for 2018. Other important 2018 Social Security information is as follows:
Tax Rate 2017 2018
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
Social Security (OASDI only) $127,200 $128,700
Medicare (HI only) No Limit
Quarter of Coverage
Retirement Earnings Test Exempt Amounts
Under full retirement age $16,920/yr.
NOTE: One dollar in benefits will be withheld for every $2 in earnings above the limit.
The year an individual reaches full retirement age $44,880/yr.
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.
Beginning the month an individual attains full retirement age. None
Social Security Disability Thresholds
Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)
Non-Blind $1,170/mo. $1,180/mo.
Blind $1,950/mo. $1,970/mo.
Trial Work Period (TWP) $ 840/mo. $ 850/mo.
Maximum Social Security Benefit: Worker Retiring at Full Retirement Age
SSI Federal Payment Standard
Individual $ 735/mo. $ 750/mo.
Couple $1,103/mo. $1,125/mo.
SSI Resource Limits
Individual $2,000 $2,000
Couple $3,000 $3,000
SSI Student Exclusion
Monthly limit $1,790 $1,820
Annual limit $7,200 $7,350
Estimated Average Monthly Social Security Benefits Payable in
2.0% COLA After
All Retired Workers $1,377 $1,404
Aged Couple, Both Receiving Benefits $2,294 $2,340
Widowed Mother and Two Children $2,717 $2,771
Aged Widow(er) Alone $1,310 $1,336
Disabled Worker, Spouse and One or More Children $2,011 $2,051
All Disabled Workers $1,173 $1,197