It’s rare to hear good news about Social Security among the projections that the program is running out of money. In our political and economic climate, many people are concerned about funding their retirement or collecting the government benefits they need to get by. Fortunately, those who are eligible for Social Security benefits have something to look forward to in 2019.
Every year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides a cost of living adjustment (COLA) to make up for inflation. The COLA for 2019 is an increase of 2.8 percent, the largest increase since 2011. This means that every beneficiary will see an increase in their benefits. Retired workers will receive an average of $40 more per month and families will see an average increase of $67.
This adjustment will affect all beneficiaries differently, so it is important to speak with a lawyer or financial advisor if you have questions about your Social Security benefits going into 2019.
Other Social Security changes going into effect next year
A generous cost of living increase isn’t the only adjustment on the horizon. There are other changes coming to Social Security in 2019, including:
- A new full retirement age: Some retirees will have a new “full retirement age,” the age at which they can begin collecting full retirement benefits. This age has tended to slowly increase over time. For example, retirees who are turning 66 in 2019 will reach their full retirement age on their birthday, but workers who turn 62 next year will not reach their full retirement age until they are 66 years and six months old.
- Maximum benefits on the rise: Retirees will see an increase in their maximum benefits at full retirement age. Those who retire at 62 will see a monthly increase of about $51, while those who retire at 65 will see a $162 increase from last year.
- Payroll tax increase: While workers who earn less than $132,900 will not see any change to their Social Security payroll tax, workers who earn more than that can expect an extra $279 withheld from their paychecks in 2019.