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Social Security announces 1.5 percent benefit increase

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The Social Security Administration has announced that monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 63 million Americans will increase 1.5 percent in 2014.

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The 1.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that more than 57 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2014.

Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on Dec. 31.

Some other changes that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages.

Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $117,000 from $113,700.

Of the estimated 165 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2014, about 10 million will pay higher taxes as a result of the increase in the taxable maximum.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), announced earlier this week that the standard Medicare Part B premium will remain at $104.90 in 2014, the same as in 2013.

The income-related monthly premium rates will also remain the same as they were in 2013.

More info about Medicare changes for 2014 is available at www.Medicare.gov.

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