Contributed by: Kali Hassinger, CFP®
The Social Security Administration announced on October 18th that the Cost of Living Adjustment for 2017 will be 0.3 percent. This announcement comes after 2016, when Social Security provided no COLA benefit. For many Social Security recipients, however, this minimal increase will be negated by the expected rise in Medicare Part B premiums, which are usually deducted directly from Social Security payments. For those subject to the “hold harmless” provision, the Medicare Part B premiums cannot increase by more than the COLA. Those not covered by that provision, however, could be subject to a larger premium increase. The specific Medicare changes will be announced later this year.
The Social Security Administration will also increase the wage ceiling subject to payroll taxes to $127,200 in 2017 (previously capped at $118,500). This means that the first $127,200 earned by any taxpayer will be taxed at 12.4% (6.2% is paid by the Employee and 6.2% is paid by the Employer). Any earnings above $127,200 won’t be subject to the OASDI (Old Age, Survivor and Disability Insurance) tax. The Retirement Earnings Test (concerning any wages earned while collecting Social Security prior to Full Retirement Age), also received a slight boost. Those receiving benefits prior to Full Retirement Age can now earn up to $16,920/year before Social Security will start to withhold benefits. If you have any questions about how these changes affect you and your family, please feel free to give us a call!
Kali Hassinger, CFP® is an Associate Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.®