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Estimated Social Security Payment Change
Old 04-09-2011, 02:02 PM   #1
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Estimated Social Security Payment Change

I just received my 2011 Social Security Statement, and it seems the language around estimated retirement benefits has changed.

From my previous year's (2009, 2010) statements:

"At your current earnings rate..., if you STOP working and start receiving benefits at age 62, your payment would be about X".

From my latest (2011) statement:

"At your current earnings rate, if you CONTINUE working until age 62, your payment would be about X".

I'm 50, so does this mean I have to work until 62 now to get that estimated amount? Or maybe that's always been the case, I've just been misreading it. BTW, X is roughly the same amount.
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Old 04-09-2011, 02:05 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyDug View Post
...does this mean I have to work until 62 now to get that estimated amount?
It means that you need to w*rk till age 85 (or longer), to ensure we of SS age get our payments, as expected ...

Seriously, I have no idea, but I could not resist...

I would assume from the wording that they want to ensure that you know that their estimate is assuming you continue to work till age 62. Something that most of the folks on this board (at least me) frown upon. They may think that some younger folks (as yourself) assume that the age 62 will be at that stated level, even if you decide to retire today. Of course, that means that you would have had to have decent earnings from age 15 to the present day.

It's probably just a CYA comment, based upon situations they have recently had. That is older folks losing their jobs before age 62, not returning to w*rk, and assuming their age 62 benefit would actually be what is on the statement. I'm sure it would be quite a shock to claim their SS at age 62 after being out of w*rk for more than a few years, and be receiving a benefit that is less (even a few dollars) than they thought they were going to get, based upon a previous statement.

As to the increase in benefits (assuming you retire today, at age 50), you probably would be greatly surprised on how little change in age 62 benefit it would be, assuming you have your full 35 "credit years" on record.

Your assumption is correct. It has always been the case. I guess they just want to ensure folks understand that fact. I'm sure many people don't.
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Old 04-09-2011, 02:16 PM   #3
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Looks like you got your statement before the big revision occurred.

The new statements going out show the payments going to the govt from the retiree.

Now at 62 you begin paying the govt each month (instead of receiving a check). if you wait till FRA, you pay the full amount and if you wait til 70 you have to pay them about 130% of FRA.


It's part of the new program to reduce the debt... Wellllll, they have to pay off those SS Trust bonds they issued... don't they?!
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Old 04-10-2011, 03:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyDug View Post
I just received my 2011 Social Security Statement, and it seems the language around estimated retirement benefits has changed.

From my previous year's (2009, 2010) statements:

"At your current earnings rate..., if you STOP working and start receiving benefits at age 62, your payment would be about X".

From my latest (2011) statement:

"At your current earnings rate, if you CONTINUE working until age 62, your payment would be about X".

I'm 50, so does this mean I have to work until 62 now to get that estimated amount? Or maybe that's always been the case, I've just been misreading it. BTW, X is roughly the same amount.
it seems to me that it is just a clarification. the 2009 said


Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyDug View Post
:

"At your current earnings rate..., if you STOP working and start receiving benefits at age 62, your payment would be about X".
which to me says you keep working till age 62
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Old 04-10-2011, 03:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by chinaco View Post
Looks like you got your statement before the big revision occurred.

The new statements going out show the payments going to the govt from the retiree.

Now at 62 you begin paying the govt each month (instead of receiving a check). if you wait till FRA, you pay the full amount and if you wait til 70 you have to pay them about 130% of FRA.


It's part of the new program to reduce the debt... Wellllll, they have to pay off those SS Trust bonds they issued... don't they?!
this is so unhelpful and even though u probably think it is funny, it isnt
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Old 04-10-2011, 03:34 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jdw_fire View Post
this is so unhelpful and even though u probably think it is funny, it isnt


Wow.... I didn't think anyone would actually believe it.

Maybe I should clarify just in case there is one other person out there that might mistake it as a serious statement: It was a Joke with the intent of Political Satire! DO NOT send them a Check!

I hope you didn't run panic stricken to make sure it was not true!

I suppose the real problem is that you haven't had your coffee yet.

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Old 04-10-2011, 08:42 AM   #7
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They've always assumed you worked until 62, the new language is just a bit clearer. Elsewhere they have been saying that they are assuming your current salary continues each year until you retire. I always used their calculator to figure out the benefit if I didn't work all those years.

I though you were funny chinaco!
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyDug View Post
"At your current earnings rate..., if you STOP working and start receiving benefits at age 62, your payment would be about X".

"At your current earnings rate, if you CONTINUE working until age 62, your payment would be about X".
I think the wording is imprecise. Which is inexcusable for something that gets mailed out to so many people, and is such important information. I think the first one could be read as:

If you STOP working NOW, and start receiving benefits at age 62, your payment would be about X.

The second one is better (if I understand it, that is), but I do I think that clearer wording would be a combination of the two:


"At your current earnings rate, if you CONTINUE working until age 62, and start receiving benefits at age 62, your payment would be about X".

Why not be explicit? And they should include a number for a few key ages (62,65,67,72?) and if you stop working NOW, for each. A little 5 x 4 table would capture it all nicely (Stop Now, 62, 65, 67, 72 on one axis, Collect @ 62, 65, 67, 72 on the other axis). Says it all, doesn't it?

-ERD50
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:25 AM   #9
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Why not be explicit?
-ERD50
Because it is in the DNA of a bureaucracy to obfuscate.

Ha
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:02 AM   #10
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I always thought it was partly because SS benefits depend on the multiplier applied to each year's earnings to adjust to benefit amount. Since the multipliers are figured based on historic inflation measures, they can only approximate the future ones between now and your projected date to receive benefits.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:16 AM   #11
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Chinaco, I thought it was very funny!


Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaco View Post
Wow.... I didn't think anyone would actually believe it.

Maybe I should clarify just in case there is one other person out there that might mistake it as a serious statement: It was a Joke with the intent of Political Satire! DO NOT send them a Check!

I hope you didn't run panic stricken to make sure it was not true!

I suppose the real problem is that you haven't had your coffee yet.

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Old 04-10-2011, 02:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by haha View Post
Because it is in the DNA of a bureaucracy to obfuscate.

Ha
Well, it is the one thing they are good at!

-ERD50
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:01 PM   #13
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Go to the SS site and download the estimator app. Plug in your values -- stop work now and stop work at 62. You'll get an accurate answer to your question.
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:18 PM   #14
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I w**ked with the SS estimator earlier this week. For FIRE, the difference in language is clearer. I will retire soon, but won't draw SS until 66. The calculator let me run estimates with those different scenarios.
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:46 PM   #15
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this is so unhelpful and even though u probably think it is funny, it isnt
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:34 PM   #16
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Wow.... I didn't think anyone would actually believe it.
I didn't believe it, but also I didn't appreciate having to work through it to figure out that it was intended as a joke. That would have been easier if it had been funny.
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:15 AM   #17
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Yeah both statements assume you work until 62 ... that's why the numbers are similar.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:46 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by chinaco View Post
Looks like you got your statement before the big revision occurred.

The new statements going out show the payments going to the govt from the retiree.

Now at 62 you begin paying the govt each month (instead of receiving a check). if you wait till FRA, you pay the full amount and if you wait til 70 you have to pay them about 130% of FRA.


It's part of the new program to reduce the debt... Wellllll, they have to pay off those SS Trust bonds they issued... don't they?!

Chinaco:

Very creative response and it is "funny" given our current politcal environment. Nice to see we can still have a sense of humor about some serious stuff. You made my day.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:35 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I think the wording is imprecise. Which is inexcusable for something that gets mailed out to so many people, and is such important information. I think the first one could be read as:

If you STOP working NOW, and start receiving benefits at age 62, your payment would be about X.

The second one is better (if I understand it, that is), but I do I think that clearer wording would be a combination of the two:


"At your current earnings rate, if you CONTINUE working until age 62, and start receiving benefits at age 62, your payment would be about X".

Why not be explicit? And they should include a number for a few key ages (62,65,67,72?) and if you stop working NOW, for each. A little 5 x 4 table would capture it all nicely (Stop Now, 62, 65, 67, 72 on one axis, Collect @ 62, 65, 67, 72 on the other axis). Says it all, doesn't it?

-ERD50


I read into both sentences that if you worked at your current pay until you turn 62, when you do turn 62 you can have X as your benefit....

"At your current earnings rate..., if you STOP working and start receiving benefits at age 62, your payment would be about X".

It does not say if you stop working NOW... it says if you stop working at 62.... the 'and' is the key in this sentence... 'stop working and start receiving at age 62'...

I think the revised sentence is more clear.... but as I said, they both say the same thing...
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:40 PM   #20
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Here is my major problem with the SS statement.... all benefits are calculated as if you worked until the day you started to receive the benefits.... IOW, your benefits at 70 are as if you worked until 70....

I want to know what my benefits are if I stopped working at 62, but delayed taking my benefits until I was 70... it would be easy to present...

If you worked until you were 62 and started taking benefits at the listed age your benefits would be:

62 X
Normal retirement age Y
70 Z

If you worked until normal retirement age and started taking benefits at the listed age your benefits would be:

Normal retirement age A
70 B

then for 70...
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