Happy 75th Birthday to the Social Security Administration

Blow out the candles and cut the cake, the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) is celebrating its 75th birthday!

I recently attended a presentation by one of the Social Security representatives.  If you get a chance to attend one of these sessions, I strongly encourage you to do so.  Here are some of my notes from this seminar.  Please be aware that I did not verify these facts.  Any errors would surely be in my note taking ability.

  • The SSA was formed in 1935 to provide a foundation for retirement and other benefits to people in need.
  • Social security benefits became taxable in 1983.  The exclusions for amounts under the threshold for taxability, $25,000 for a single person and $32,000 for a married couple, were never indexed to inflation.
  • There are approximately 53 million people receiving social security benefits.
  • SSA pays out about $56 billion dollars per month.
  • SSA mails out your annual statement three months before your birthday.  This lists your historic earnings and projected benefits.
  • The trustees of the SSA are required to issue a report annually regarding the projected status of the organization.  Per the 2009 report, assuming no changes, they expect to be able to pay full benefits until 2038.  They also expect to have funding for approximately 75% of the benefits after this time.

Are you planning on collecting social security benefits soon?

If so, are you planning on taking your benefits early?

If you are already receiving benefits, how have your dealings been with the agency?

ACTION ITEM:  If you need to deal with the SSA, go online first.  If you need to see someone in person, call and make an appointment.  Don’t just show up at the office, especially on a Monday, or after a long holiday weekend.

Thomas F. Scanlon, CPA, CFP®

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3 comments on “Happy 75th Birthday to the Social Security Administration
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