What is Social Security?

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76 thoughts on “What is Social Security?

  1. When is the U.S. government going to pay back the funds borrowed from the Social Security Fund so there are not the continual comments as to when the fund will be bankrupt?

    • Here in Sheboygan county Wisconsin we have a SS office. However, my clients who are 60 and above go tot the office in our county and find the people there to be very unhelpful and rude. Just thought you should know.

      • Yes, Greensburg, Westmoreland Co, PA has the same trouble. The lady who processed my application failed to tell me how I could be eligible for a larger check each month by not taking mine but my husband’s then switch to mine when I retired at 70+. I am now paying dearly with a low monthly SSI check. I worked until I was 74. I may have to go back to work to keep up with home repairs, taxes and insurance costs.

      • Hi Patricia. We have referred your complaint to our Operations staff to follow up and to take corrective action as necessary. We appreciate your feedback, and thank you for bringing this to our attention.

    • Yes, when is our Government going to pay back all the money they took out of Social Security? When can we have a Law prohibiting our Government from using Social Security funds for anything other Social Security? When is our Government going to quit lying about Social Security going broke when it isnt? Social Security has worked since 1935 ! Is our more recent Governments jealous because they came up with a plan that still works so long ago?

      • Social Security is not going broke. It will not be long however before it pays out more than it takes in. Transferring from Peter to pay Paul will not create solvency. If the Government can no longer finance it’s debt then SS and all other programs will have to pay out less than what was promised.

      • Tony, Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system. Social Security taxes collected from today’s workers pay the benefits of today’s retirees. Any funds in excess of what is needed to pay today’s benefits are invested in special issue, U.S. Government, interest-bearing securities. This investment – the purchase of U.S. Government securities – is what constitutes the “borrowing” that people are sometimes concerned about. Any funds that have been “borrowed” from the Social Security Trust Funds have always been paid back in full, plus interest. Please check out our Trust Fund Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

    • Hi Harry. Social Security taxes collected from today’s workers pay the benefits of today’s retirees. Any funds in excess of what is needed to pay today’s benefits are invested in special issue, U.S. Government, interest-bearing securities. This investment – the purchase of U.S. Government securities – is what constitutes the “borrowing” that people are sometimes concerned about. Any funds that have been “borrowed” from the Social Security Trust Funds have always been paid back in full, plus interest. Please check out our Trust Fund Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

  2. i left word for a call back. The person called, the receptionist answered, the receptionist call me to say SS was on line 101, the person hung up the phone. This took all of 20-30 seconds.

    I am trying to find out this. I am 69 and plan to retire at age 70. If I retire at 69 and 6 months, does my monthly benefits increase from the benefits at age 69? or my benefits do not change between age 69 and age 70.

    • It’s my understanding that your monthly SS benefit payment will increase for every additional month until you submit your claim. For each additional year from your Full Retirement Age (say, from 66 until 70) you will receive approximately 8% more in your monthly SS benefit. That’s about 2/3% for each additional month you wait to apply for benefits. So, at age 69 1/2, your benefits will be about 4% more than if you had applied at age 69.

    • Good evening,

      Every month that you wait beyond your full retirement age you earn a delayed retirement credit (DRC). These credits take effect the following January or at age 70…so DRC’s earned in 2016 are effective with January 2017 – paid in February 2017 as SSA pays a month behind). In your case, if you turned 69 in 05/2016 you would then be paid at the 01/2016 rate with an increase effective with 01/2017 (for the 2016 DRC’s). If you turned 69 in 11/2015, filed for benefits effective with 05/2016 (69 1/2), you would be paid at the 01/2016 rate with the 2016 DRC’s taking effect 11/2016 (age 70). In short, every month that you wait beyond your full retirement age will yield a higher benefit amount (it just might not take effect right away). I hope that this helps.

      Here is a link to SSA policy discussing this issue:
      If you are not comfortable clicking on this link, the policy title and reference is: RS 00615.690 Delayed Retirement Credits (DRC).

    • At the ages you indicated you’d receive a smaller delayed retirement credit @ 69 rather than 70. The payment is fixed at the point you first elect payment and then only changes due to a COLA.

    • Hi, Steve. We are sorry to hear about your unpleasant experience and we understand your frustration. You can submit feedback by visiting our Contact Social Security page at http://ow.ly/CHBK306gVWr. To answer your question, benefits will increase a certain percentage from the time you reach full retirement age, until you start receiving benefits, or until you reach age 70. The percentage varies depending on your year of birth and the number of months you delay the start of your retirement benefits. The yearly rate of increase for those born in 1943 or later is 8%. To calculate your actual increase, go to our Delayed Retirement web page. We like to remind individuals age 65 or older and not ready to start their monthly cash benefits, that they can use our online retirement application to sign up for Medicare ONLY and apply for their retirement benefits at a later date. We hope this helps.

  3. It originally was Retirement Savings that the US government supposedly stole from our pay checks every week & month until you Retire at 65.
    Today; the entire US government since that time has stolen 90% of the billions saved over a period of 65 years, worse; this illegal queer from Kenya and his gang of thieves have stolen Billions of OUR Money??
    The $843 Billion that osama queer stole for the bamacare was another Fraud by the entire government and now 90% of that money is missing, but sama bamna the queer from kenya with No US Birth Certificate per Investigators has transferred $3-7 Billion USD to a bank in Middle East where he will run to after he leaves US????????

    • Regan was the one that took money from social security. How dare you use hate speech here. You are a disgrace and truly deplorable. You should leave our country. We don’t want or need hate filled people like you.

      • Reagan did NOT take money from social security, but he was President in 1983 when a bipartisan bill was passed to save the financial integrity of the system. Full retirement age was moved from 65 to 66 and eventually 67 (for those born in 1960 or later) The law also made benefits taxable for the first time.

      • No one took anything from the SS Trust Finds. Another half truth is Johnson first took the $$ to pay for the war. Money was taken out true but Treasury promissory notes were left in it’s place.

    • This post needs to be removed immediately. This discussion is false, foul and out of bounds. If this site cannot be monitored for hate speech, then it should be shut down .tw, Calif.

  4. What is Social Security? It’s a federal ponzi scheme that all Americans (except government workers who’ve been exempted) must pay into.

    It was approved shortly after it was told that it was declared to fail tests by actuaries.

      • Bruce, what do you suggest it be replaced with? Currently over 50% of seniors living on just Social Security make less than $1200.00 a month. If we did away with Social Security, there are many people that would not save for retirement as demonstrated by the 50%. SO … how would be take care of the millions of seniors over 65 that would have no source of income? Quit being arrogant and flippant. Engage in the conversation to fix the problem not just stir a pot.

        • Excuse me, I payed into SSI as did my husband, a navy vet and scientist,AND WE ALSO SAVED. It is never enough. It seems to me if you pay into something for 50 years, you should get a decent retirement for those precious years you live past work years.

  5. 11/2016
    Confidential Financial Information:
    Harlem Social Security Office
    302 W. 126th Street
    New York, N.Y 10000

    ATTN: All Customer Representatives, and Supervisors

    Have a Good/Nice Morning October 28th, ’92
    My name is Mr. Jermaine Johnson, I am blessed to see my Mid 40’s, 45 year. Looking forward in seeing more Healthy Mental and Physically years:Good Nutrition and Daily Exercise The 4,5,6,7,8,and 9…………………………….
    My Month is October 28th, and the Year ’92……………
    Did have a son February 22nd, ’93 (23)yrs…Not in my Custody Child Support and Visitation ONLY…………….
    My Decision, August ‘2001 While having Dinner at my Favorite Harlem Soul Restaurant, Happy Feeling are in the Air(I am Blessed)
    I am currently receiving SSD(Social Security Disability).
    Monthly Benefits, 2002 – Presently. Strong lLIFE /Work
    Experiences, ’92 – 2011, Challenges, Obstacles, and
    Victories 2000 – 2010, I am happy to be part of the
    Social Security Administration Family, 2002 – Presently
    It is already FOOD AND WATER(Good until 2038)”6″
    Congratulations President Donald Trump
    Have a Happy, and Safe Thanksgiving
    I have all of it Good until, December, 2063
    A Friend(7)


    • Each year employers and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) send information to the Social Security Administration (SSA) on the earnings of the U.S. working population. SSA stores this earnings information in what is called the Master Earnings File (MEF). We post the earnings information to the record of the Social Security number that was reported. SSA cannot credit earnings to employee records unless the employee name and Social Security number on the wage report, matches the name and number in SSA’s files. All Social Security taxes go into the Social Security Trust Funds. When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn “credits” toward Social Security benefits. Individuals will have to contact their local Social Security office to correct their earnings record when necessary.

  7. I would like to hear some intelligent discussion so I can educate myself about how SS works before retirement…..Anyone know of a good blog I can go to?

    • The best place I have found to educate myself has been the Social Security website. It has all of the rules along with the information about Medicare. Medicare rules are the ones that can get you. All states in many areas have SHIP or HICAP counselors. They are people that are trained to provide unbiased Medicare information. Check with your local Community Center to see if they have face to face appts. Otherwise you can talk to someone over the phone.

    • Just google SSA and select the topic. Don’t waste your time with self appointed experts and don’t hire someone. You can also call the toll free # 800 772-1213 and ask for a pamphlet on any topic.

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