For a typical Charleston social security lawyer and his client, it’s important to remember that the rules governing social security benefits are due to change. However, MotleyFool.com writer Dan Caplinger claims that such constant rule changes make the program as complex as can be, with a big number of factors involved in calculating the final payouts. These variables also often make it a chore to estimate exactly how much a potential beneficiary can receive.
Still, one has to keep abreast with change. Here are several of the rule shifts being implemented for the social security program this coming year.
Bigger payments – To keep up with inflation, social security payments are automatically adjusted every year. For 2015, concerned parties can expect a 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment, with a typical retiree slated to receive about $22 more per month. This adjustment will also increase the average monthly payout for retirees from $1,306 to $1,328. On the other hand, retired couples who receive benefits individually can expect to get $36 more on their average payouts.
New 401(k) limit – For 2015, concerned parties can expect a $500 increase to the 401(k) contribution limit. Workers 50 years and older also face an increase to their catch-up contribution limits amounting to $500. One can also look to maximize a significant amount of tax deferral on such policy change—i.e. a beneficiary under 50 years of age who’s in the 25 percent tax bracket and shells a maximum contribution amount can save up to $4,500 on his/her federal income tax bill.
Social security credits require more income – Individuals looking to qualify for social security benefits must prove that they have earned a certain number of credits over a specific period of time. For instance, retirement benefits require 40 credits earned throughout the course of a claimant’s career, with 1 credit equal to $1,220 in earnings.
Higher tax cap – The maximum taxable earnings have increased from $117,000 in 2014 to $118,500. As a result, about 10 million of the 168 million social security payers can expect higher taxes for 2015. On the other hand, those who earn more than the taxable maximum will not pay social security taxes on that amount, or have such earnings carried over to their future social security payments.
The aforementioned rule changes may indeed complicate things, but people need not worry. With the assistance of a seasoned Charleston social security disability lawyer from firms like Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, navigating the social security waters in 2015 should be less of a complicated thing.
(Source: Social Security in 2015: 6 Numbers Everyone Should Know, MotleyFool.com, November 29, 2014)