Jeffrey Albertson/18 October 2017
According to data released by the Social Security Administration last Friday, the 66 million beneficiaries of the retirement, disability, and supplemental incomes programs will receive a 2% cost of living adjustment for 2018, an increase from last year’s negligible 0.3%. The adjustments will go into effect in January 2018 for retirement and disability payments and on December 20, 2017 for supplemental income payments. In the last decade, next year’s increase is the second highest since 2012’s increase of 3.6%. As a point of reference the years 2010, 2011 and 2015 saw no cost of living increase.
Additionally changing is the income threshold for Substantial Gainful Activity, the determination definition used by the SSA to gauge a claimant’s ability level. For non-blind recipients in 2018, the new level is $1,180 per month, a jump from $1,170 in 2017 and $1,130 in 2016. The blind SGA level will increase in 2018 to $1,970, which is an increase from 2017’s amount of $1,950. In the years between 2014 and 2016, the SGA remained unchanged at $1,820.
While the tax rates for the employed and the self-employed remained the same at 7.65% and 15.30% respectively, the maximum taxable earnings amount will increase to $128,700; an increase from the 2017 amount of $127,200. According to the SSA’s press release, “Of the estimated 175 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2018, about 12 million will pay more because of the increase in the taxable maximum.”
The updated monthly payments are as follows: