Why contribute to Social Security that will not be
around when 30-year-old retires?
And there are easier questions answered by SSA's
Oscar Garcia that apply to benefits, which are a lot more important to
most senior citizens
1, 2013 – In this week’s Social Security Q&A a thirty-year-old wants to
know why he should be made to contribute to a plan that is not going to
be there when he reaches retirement age. And, a happy contributor to the
system wants to know if his benefits will be penalized because his wife
does not contribute to the system. Oscar Garcia, public affairs
specialist with the Social Security Administration has answers for them
As a thirty year-old, I just cannot see the
value in paying Social Security taxes. I could invest the Social
Security taxes I pay into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) plan or
some other investment, and do much better. Why do I have to contribute
to a system that is not going to be there when I need it?
For one thing, Social Security coverage is
Secondly, maybe you could do better, but then
again, maybe your investments will not work out.
Remember these facts. Your Social Security taxes
pay for potential disability and survivors benefits as well as for
retirement benefits. Social Security incorporates social goals such as
giving more protection to families and to low income workers that are
not part of private pension plans. Plus, Social Security benefits are
adjusted yearly for increases in the cost-of-living which is a feature
not present in many private plans.
Many people view Social Security as only a
retirement program, but there is much more to it. When it comes to the
need for disability and survivors benefits, Social Security is there for
those who qualify.
Dependent survivors of wage earners, such as
spouses and minor children may be eligible for survivor benefits when
the family’s provider dies. The sad fact is that about one in eight of
today’s 20 year-old workers will die before reaching age 67. The good
news is about 96 percent of people age 20 to 49 who work have survivors
insurance protection if they die and leave behind young children and
Social Security is here to help people inflicted
with disabling conditions as well. In fact, disabled workers account for
about 19 percent of all Social Security benefits paid. One in four of
today’s 20 year-old workers will become disabled before reaching age 67.
So while Social Security coverage is mandatory, it
can provide important benefits for young workers as well as retired
Will Social Security lower my benefit if my
spouse receives a pension based on work not covered by Social Security?
She works with the school district and does not pay into Social
Security. I have always paid into Social Security.
If your Social Security benefit is based on your
own covered earnings, then a pension your spouse receives based on
non-covered work will not affect your payment amount. Your Social
Security retirement will not be affected when she begins receiving her
pension from Teacher Retirement.
On the other hand, the pension she is eligible to
receive from her employer will affect her entitlement to Social Security
benefits. Even if you begin receiving your deceased spouse's non-covered
pension in the future, it will not affect Social Security benefits based
on your earnings.
If I cash an IRA, do you consider it when
figuring my Medicare Part B and Part D income-related monthly
If you cashed an IRA two years ago, it may increase
your premiums this year. That is because we generally use tax returns
from two years ago to figure premiums for the current year. If your
premiums increased last year because you cashed an IRA two years before,
your premium could decrease in the current year. For more information,
call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or visit your local Social
Can my 16 and 17 year old children get benefits
on my record if I start receiving benefits?
When you qualify for Social Security retirement
benefits, your unmarried children also may qualify to receive benefits
on your record. Eligible children can be your biological child, adopted
child or stepchild. A dependent grandchild also may qualify.
To receive benefits, your unmarried child must be
younger than age 18; between 18-19 years old, but in elementary or
secondary school full time. A full-time student is in a grade no
higher than grade 12. The child can qualify if they are age 18 or older
and severely disabled (the disability must have started before age 22).
Each child may receive a monthly payment up to
one-half of your full retirement benefit amount. However, there is a
limit to the amount paid to you and your family. The limit varies, but
is generally equal to about 150 to 180 percent of your retirement
I get Social Security because of a disability.
How often will my case be reviewed to determine if I’m still eligible?
How often we review your medical condition depends
on how severe it is and the likelihood it will improve. Your award
notice tells you when you can expect your first review using the
Medical improvement expected is when your condition
is expected to improve within a specific time. Your first review will be
six to 18 months after you started getting disability benefits. Medical
improvement possible is when improvement in your medical condition is
possible. Your case will be reviewed about every three years. Medical
improvement not expected means your medical condition is unlikely to
improve, and your case will be reviewed about once every five to seven
Oscar Garcia is a Public Affairs Specialist with
the Social Security Administration. You can direct your questions to him
at: SSA, 411 Richland Hills Drive, San Antonio, Texas, 78245. You can
also email him at Oscar.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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