• Benefit Bulletin May 2017

    Finance Committee Questions HHS Nominee .At a seven-hour Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this week, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano praised the Gang of Eight for their comprehensive plan, while members of the committee picked it apart and discussed potential amendments. Secretary Napolitano called the plan "realistic" and "achievable" and she said the department would be ready to implement border security provisions within the outlined timeframe. However, committee members seemed wary, and Ranking Member Charles Grassley (IA) said: "This bill would put no pressure on this secretary or any future secretary to secure the borders." .Generally, retirement planners say that to maintain their current standard of living, retirees need to replace 70 percent of their pre-retirement earnings. However, with recent hits to personal savings and 401(k) balances, households are struggling with an erosion in the value of their retirement savings. Also, while workers may plan to retire at a certain age, their retirement decisions are often subject to circumstances outside of their control. A study conducted by McKinsey & Company found that roughly half of all workers who retired earlier than they planned cited health reasons or needing to care for a family member; the other half cited job loss. … Continued

  • Congress Working On Plans For Social Security And Medicare Overhaul Feed

    "The Senior Citizens League Wants to Know: "How Much Will You Spend on Medicare?"" .The Post story said that labs struggled to ramp up coronavirus testing, and hospitals and nursing homes ran short of personal protective equipment over the spring. These failures hampered the national and state responses to the pandemic, leaving the United States with far more infections and deaths than any other country. Even now, shortages of protective medical gear are looming as outbreaks grow in the South. One big reason is because these supplies often come from other countries, which were also dealing with outbreaks. .Payments to the plans were cut 6 billion over 10 years under 2010 healthcare reform legislation. So far the program has remained relatively stable and continues to grow in enrollment. … Continued

The income threshold that subjects a portion of Social Security benefits to tax was first set by legislation in 198Before 1984 Social Security benefits weren't taxed, but a financial crisis threatened Social Security in the early ‘80s providing the impetus for Congress to impose the new tax in order to beef up revenues. The tax increase was sold to the public as a tax on "high income" beneficiaries, and it was — in 198At that time only 10% of Social Security beneficiaries paid the tax. But today, it is different. During the 2015 tax season an estimated 56% of Social Security beneficiary households like yours owe federal income taxes on part of their benefit income, according to the Social Security Administration. .The extra time was needed because although both houses of Congress were finally able to pass the needed legislation, the bill was nearly 5,600 pages in length. It is probable that no member of Congress actually read the entire bill and likely very few Congressional staff members read it either. .Trustees Release Annual Social Security and Medicare Reports .The age at which you should start Medicare Part B is still 6Failure to enroll on time can expose you to permanent delayed enrollment penalties, not only for Medicare Part B (doctors and outpatient services) but also for Part D (prescription drug coverage). These penalties which can add 10% - 12% per year respectively to your Part B and Part D premiums for every year you miss enrollment deadlines, for the rest of the time you have Medicare. ."If more retired taxpayers aren't paying taxes on their Social Security benefits, that's good news for their tax liability, but would also mean their adjusted gross income was lower than in 2019," says Johnson. "And that could mean those households might be living too close for comfort to the federal poverty level," she adds. .By U.S. Representative Allyson Schwartz (PA-13) .In order to learn more about what services you are eligible for under Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE ( 7), a State Health Insurance Assistance Program counselor at your Area Agency on Aging, or your Member of Congress. .More than 61 million people, including adults age 65 and older, and younger disabled adults who receive Social Security disability benefits, get their healthcare coverage though Medicare.[3] The Social Security hold harmless provision protects about 70 percent of beneficiaries (almost 43 million beneficiaries) from increases in the Medicare Part B premium that exceed the dollar amount of their COLA. When an individual's Part B premium increases more than the dollar amount of his or her COLA, the Part B premium is reduced to prevent a reduction in net Social Security benefits from one year to the next. .Most Americans contribute 6.2 percent of every paycheck to Social Security, but due to the payroll tax cap, people earning more than 8,400 contribute nothing over that amount. Eliminating the payroll tax cap would extend the solvency of the program responsibly, without cutting benefits for seniors. Do you agree?