Social Benefits to increase 0.3% in 2017

Jenkins said that without a larger increase in their Social Security checks, the burdens on seniors will mount amid rising prescription drug prices and Medicare premiums.

The average annual raise since the United States exited recession in 2009 has been 1.2 percent. Court papers say the benefits were suspended in April 2014.

"At a time when senior poverty is going up and more than two-thirds of the elderly population rely on Social Security for more than half of their income, we must do everything we can to expand Social Security", Sanders said.

Should you take your Social Security benefits early to avoid the Medicare premium increase?

Clinton would pay for it by raising taxes on "the highest-income Americans".

Note: The 7.65% tax rate is the combined rate for Social Security and Medicare. The Medicare portion is 1.45% on all earnings.

In addition to higher premiums for those not held harmless, the Medicare trustees have projected a big increase in the annual deductible that all Medicare enrollees must pay for Part B covered expenses before their Medicare insurance begins paying claims.

The Additional Medicare Tax should not be confused with the Alternative Minimum Tax on high incomes, which does not involve mandatory payroll withholding.

Millions of Social Security recipients and federal retirees will get a 0.3 percent increase in monthly benefits next year, the fifth year in a row that older Americans will have to settle for historically low raises. But the law prohibits an increase in the taxable maximum if there is no cost-of-living increase for benefits, and a 0.4% decline in prices a year ago kept Social Security benefits unchanged in 2016. For the average retiree, that will lead to an extra $3.92 a month.

As an example, a person receiving $1,500 in Social Security each month would see this amount raised in 2017 by $4.50, or 0.3 percent.

There was no Social Security benefit' increase this year, and next year will be small because inflation is low, driven in part by cheaper fuel prices. Except for pretax medical and tax-free fringe benefits, all wages are subject to the 1.45% Medicare portion of FICA, or the 2.35% Medicare portion of FICA for employees earning more than $200,000, since there's no wage base.

Information about Medicare premium increases for 2017, when announced, will be available at (last year, changes for 2016 were announced in November).

"It is grossly unfair that those who pay their premiums from something other than Social Security must pay more in premiums", said National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association President Richard Thissen in a statement.

"You know, people get excited when they hear there will be a cost-of-living adjustment or an increase to their social security benefit".

The average increase since 2000 has been about 2.3 percent, which would have added about $28 a month based on current benefit levels according to the American Institute for Economic Research.

  • Zachary Reyes