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Old 07-25-2011, 04:39 PM
 
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From the social security website:
"The average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker was about $1,177 at the beginning of 2011."

Is there a minimum social security benefit since the above says "worker"?
Ex: A retired housewife who never worked, would get zero, or the minimum? What is the minimum for someone who had no job, or very low paying jobs?

Is there a maximum social security benefit?
Ex: A retired CEO who made $400,000 a year would have their social benefit not to exceed the maximum? What is the maximum?

Have the ways the minimum and maximum is calculated, changed over the last 15-20 years?

Thanks.
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:48 PM
 
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Well, this pretty much covers the maximum since 1987.
Maximum-taxable benefit examples
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Old 07-25-2011, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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Unless the retired housewife who never worked is entitled to spousal benefits based on her husband's work record, she would receive zero. For example, if the husband worked only a job which did not fall under Social Security - that would be certain public employee jobs - then he would get zero and his wife would also get zero. Social Security is not welfare, it is insurance; if the worker has not paid the payroll taxes (premiums), then he (or she) doesn't get the coverage.

The formulas which determine retirement benefits take into account how many years a worker has paid the FICA (Soc. Sec.) taxes and the amount of wages on which taxes were paid (up to the cap, which is currently $106,000 per year, the benefits also being capped based on that amount), among other factors. I don't know what the minimum is, but it is very small. When I started receiving SS retirement benefits at age 62, my monthly benefit was $103. It has since gone up because I continued to work a special five-week project each year which was subject to SS taxes, and the benefit was recomputed each year to reflect that. Now, five years later, my monthly benefit is $138, which also reflects a COLA or two.
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howard555 View Post
Is there a maximum social security benefit?
Ex: A retired CEO who made $400,000 a year would have their social benefit not to exceed the maximum? What is the maximum?
Maximum benefit is $2,366. Maximum taxable earnings are $106,800.

That $400k executive pays SS tax on only $106,800 of his income. Lot of SS so-called problems could be solved if that $106.8 cap were raised. Problem is benefits do not go up proportionately. In other words, at the higher income levels, you don't get an equal share back. Plus, you pay a whole lot more for Medicare. It is definitely wealth redistribution working against the higher income people. Just sayin'. Frankly, I don't care one way or the other.
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