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Social Security: Benefits start ‘first full month’ after reaching age 62

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Q: What month can retirement benefits begin?

A: If all requirements are met, you can receive Social Security reduced retirement beginning with the first full month that you are age 62.

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The “first full month” is important and means that you must be at least age 62 for the complete month.

As a result, benefits are not paid for the month you reach age 62 unless your birthday is on the first or second day of the month.

Being born on the first or second day of the month fulfills the full month requirement because legal precedent states that a person attains their age on the day before their birthday.

Social Security benefits for a month are paid in the following month.

For example, if you turn 62 on May 15, your first month of entitlement can be June, with the first payment received in July.

However, if your birthday is on May 1, your first

month of entitlement can be May, with payment in June.

Q: What is the 2013 amount of Social Security taxes on earnings?

A: The combined Social Security and Medicare payroll tax for 2013 is 7.65 percent.

Of this, the Social Security portion for retirement, survivors and disability benefits is 6.2 percent on earnings up to the $113,700 maximum taxable earnings amount.

The Medicare portion is 1.45 percent on all earnings.

Employers and employees each pay the 7.65 percent while people who are self-employed pay the combined 15.30 percent.

Did You Know? You can read and subscribe to a free, monthly, Social Security Administration electronic newsletter at www.socialsecurity.gov/newsletter.

The current edition has highlights from March testimony before Congress by Carolyn Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security.

Her testimony discussed service delivery challenges facing the agency including budget issues, related to and separate from sequestration.

Her full testimony is at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/legislation/testimony_031413.html.

Based in Grand Forks, Howard I. Kossover is the Social Security Public Affairs Specialist for North Dakota and western Minnesota. Send general interest questions to him at howard.kossover@ssa.gov. Read his online articles at socialsecurityinfo.areavoices.com.

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