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Social Security benefits to increase by 1.6% in 2020

Jeremy M. Lazarus | 10/18/2019, 6 a.m.
Retirees in Richmond and across the country might have a little more money in their pockets come January.

Retirees in Richmond and across the country might have a little more money in their pockets come January.

The Social Security Administration has announced that its pension and disability payments will rise 1.6 percent, or $16 on a current $1,000 check, beginning with the first payments in 2020.

The cost-of-living increase, which is based on inflation that largely remains in check, was the same in 2019, officials said. Social Security check amounts also will be impacted by any increase in Medicare premiums for 2020, which have not yet been announced, officials said.

Overall, 63 million Social Security recipients and 8 million blind, disabled or impoverished elderly recipients of Supplemental Security Income will be affected, Social Security officials noted.

In January, Social Security also will begin collecting tax on a higher level of earnings. This year, the tax to support Social Security and the Medicare health insurance program is being applied to the first $132,900 of earned income. That will increase to $137,700 in 2020, the agency stated.

Currently, the combined Social Security-Medicare tax is 15.3 percent for self-employed people. Those who work for others pay 7.65 percent, with the employer paying a similar percentage.

The actual Social Security tax is 6.2 percent, with the rest going to support Medicare.

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