NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The Social Security Administration has announced that the monthly Social Security benefit will increase by 1.7% for 2015. This increase will begin with the checks that Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2015.
Social Security benefits increase automatically each year based on the rise in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), from the third quarter of the prior year to the corresponding period of the current year.
The average Social Security recipient will see an increase of about $22 per month, bringing the average monthly check for 2015 to $1,328. The average benefit for couples who both receive benefits will increase by $36 per month to $2,176.
The maximum Social Security payment for an individual who signs up at full retirement age will be $2,663 per month, an increase of $21 from 2014.
Beneficiaries will be able to pocket the entire increase. The standard Medicare Part B monthly premium will remain $104.90 for 2015.
Higher income individuals pay a higher premium based on 2013 AGI plus tax-exempt municipal bond income. The income-based Medicare Part B monthly premiums for 2015 are:
The earnings base for Social Security withholding on wages and the Social Security portion of Self-Employment Tax for 2015 is $118,500, up from $117,000 for 2014. So the maximum amount of Social Security tax to be withheld from wages for 2015 is $7,347 and the maximum Social Security portion of self-employment tax is $14,694.
The earnings limitations for 2015 are:
- Under Full Retirement Age - $ $15,720 per year or $1,310.00 per month ($1.00 in benefits lost for every $2.00 in earnings above the limit).
- The Year You Reach Full Retirement Age - $41,880 per year or $3,490.00 per month (applies only to earnings for months prior to reaching full retirement age - $1.00 in benefits lost for every $3.00 in earnings above the limit).
There is no limit on earnings beginning the month you reach full retirement age.
--Written by Robert D. Flach for MainStreet