Great news! Social Security announced a 2.8% COLA increase for 2019! Woah now…don’t go spending it all yet :/ Because Social Security has a rule called the ‘hold harmless provision’, you may not see all of that raise on your monthly check. Why? This rule prevents Medicare premiums from increasing by more than your Social Security check and a couple of years ago, that happened. Many recipients are still catching up to the Medicare increase from a few years ago.
More Social Security changes:
HIGHER INCOME EARNERS MAXIMUM INCOME LIMIT RISING:
Social Security taxes earned income at 6.2% for employers and 6.2% for employees, up to a certain earned income threshold. This is known as the Social Security ‘maximum taxable earnings’. For 2019, the maximum taxable earnings will increase by $4,500 — from $128,400 to $132,900.
EARNINGS TEST PENALTY LIMITS INCREASING:
There is a rule If you work before your ‘Full Retirement Age’ (FRA – 66 for most people in 2019), you can earn up to a certain amount without your benefits being affected. If you earn more, your benefit is penalized:
-The years before you reach FRA: You can earn up to $17,640/year
-You reach FRA age during 2019: You can earn $46,920/year
HOW MUCH EARNINGS CONSTITUTES ONE (1) SOCIAL SECURITY CREDIT:
It takes 40 ‘quarters of coverage’ (also known as credits) to qualify for Social Security (and Medicare) benefits. In 2019, one credit = $1,360 in earnings. You can only earn four (4) credits per year. This becomes important for those that need more quarters to qualify for FREE Medicare Part A premiums!
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