Retirement Benefit Laws
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What Are Retirement Benefits?
Retirement benefits describe financial security set up to support an individual who has left the workforce. Social Security benefits are an integral part of many retirement plans. Thus, when someone retires, monthly Social Security payments may be one of their sources of income.
How Do I Qualify for Retirement Benefits?
As an individual works and pays Social Security taxes, they will earn credits per year. Generally, one needs to work at least ten years to earn enough credits to qualify for retirement benefits.
How Much Money Can I Expect When I Retire?
How much money you can expect when you retire is based primarily on two factors:
- Earnings - The Social Security Administration (SSA) will average one's earnings over their career to determine what they are entitled to. The size of their benefits will depend on how much they earned while working.
- Age - The earliest someone can begin drawing retirement benefits is 62. The longer they wait to take retirement benefits, the more they will receive.
Will My Retirement Date Determine How Much I Am Entitled To?
Yes. The SSA has classified retirement benefits into three general categories:
- Full Retirement - If a person waits until their full retirement age to begin taking benefits, they will receive the maximum payments available. What age they qualify for full retirement benefits will be determined by what year they were born. Currently, the full retirement age ranges between 65 and 67.
- Early Retirement - If a person chooses to retire between age 62 and their full retirement age, their benefits will be permanently reduced. The reduction is based on the number of months until that person reaches full retirement age. The reduction ranges between 7 and 30%.
- Delayed Retirement - If a person decides to work past their full retirement age, they can increase their Social Security benefits. Not only are they increasing their earnings, but the SSA will also increase benefits by a certain percentage for each additional year a person works beyond full retirement age.
Can I Find out How Much I Am Expected to Receive When I Retire?
Annually, the SSA will send every worker, 25 or older, an earnings statement. The statement will calculate your expected retirement benefits.
Can I Get Retirement Benefits on My Divorced Spouse's Record?
If a person is at least 62 years old, unmarried, was married to another person for at least 10 years, and have been divorced for at least two years, then that person may draw benefits based on their divorced spouse's account. This will not affect the divorced spouse's benefits. To do this, the divorced spouse must qualify for retirement benefits and be at least 62, but they do not need to be retired.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
An attorney experienced with Social Security benefits and regulations can help you plan the best time to retire. If you are having a problem obtaining your benefits, a government lawyer can help prepare and file an appeal.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 09-05-2014 04:29 PM PDT
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