Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, announced on September 16, 2014 that the agency will resume the periodic mailing of Social Security Statements—once every five years for most workers– while encouraging everyone to create a secure my Social Security account to immediately access their Statement online, anytime. The Statement provides workers age 18 and older with important individualized information regarding their earnings, tax contributions, and estimates for future retirement, disability, and survivors benefits.
Beginning in September, workers attaining ages 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60 who are not receiving Social Security benefits and who are not registered for a my Social Security account will receive the Statement in the mail about 3 months before their birthday. After age 60, people will receive a Statement every year. The agency expects to send nearly 48 million Statements each year
I signed up for a personal Social Security account about a year ago on http://www.socialsecurity.gov  and when I turned 65 this year I signed up for Medicare through their site. The site is easy to use and you can track your benefits and review and print out your personal Social Security and Earnings Statement any time, it looks just like the one they use to mail.
Last week I received a notice from Social Security about my Medicare part B premiums that will start later this year. Medicare charges an income-related monthly adjustment to your part B premium for anyone earning over certain limits . Social Security uses your income tax statement from 2012 (two years back), for anyone applying in 2014. If you had capital gains, made a major withdrawal from your IRA or converted your THRIFT or other retirement account to a ROTH in 2012 your reported income may increase your Part B premiums. The adjustment is anywhere from $42 to $230.80 a month over the standard $104.90 monthly premium.
If you receive an Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Notice this year, and your income in 2013 was sufficiently lower to either reduce or eliminate the monthly income adjustment , you can file a SSA-44  Medicare Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount-Life Changing Event form with Social Security. You have to take a copy of your 2013 IRS 1040 to your local office or send in a copy with the form to prove that your earnings were less in 2013.
COLAs and the 2015 Pay Raise
The COLA is projected to be anywhere from 1.7 to 2 percent or higher for 2015. You can view a listing of all COLAs since 1999  on our site. Right now it looks like federal employees will receive a 1% raise again next year. The Federal Reserve and the administration has kept interest rates artificially low to fund the government debt and in essence the lower rates create a significant burden and tax on workers and retirees alike. I wrote an article on this subject that you may find worth reading tilted, Size Matters, Especially in Retirement  and since I wrote this things haven’t improved. Actually the middle class income has dropped even more.
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