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Ask the SSA: Retirement

ROSALIE ALVIAR | 5/23/2016, 8:39 a.m.
Question: I received a notice from Social Security recently. It said my name and Social Security number do not match ...
Rosalie Alviar-Social Security Regional Public Affairs Specialist Social Security Administration

Dallas Regional Office of the Social Security Administration

GENERAL

Question:

I received a notice from Social Security recently. It said my name and Social Security number do not match Social Security’s records. What should I do?

Answer:

It’s critical that your name and Social Security number, as shown on your Social Security card, match your employer’s payroll records and your W-2 form. If they don’t, here is what you need to do:

Give your employer the correct information exactly as shown on your Social Security card or your corrected card; or

Contact your local Social Security office (www.socialsecurity.gov/locator) or call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) if your Social Security card does not show your correct name or Social Security number.

For more information, visit our website at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.

Question:

How do I report a lost Social Security card?

Answer:

You don’t have to report a lost Social Security card. In fact, reporting a lost or stolen card to Social Security won’t prevent misuse of your Social Security number. You should let us know if someone is using your number to work (call 1-800-772-1213; TTY 1-800-325-0778).

If you think someone is using your number, there are several other actions you should take:

• Contact the Federal Trade Commission online at www.ftc.gov/bcdp/edu/microsites/idtheft or call 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338).

• File an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

• Contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit by calling 1-800-908-4490, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

• Monitor your credit report.

RETIREMENT

Question:

What is the benefit amount a spouse may be entitled to receive?

Answer:

If you’re eligible for both your own retirement benefit and for benefits as a spouse, we will always pay you benefits based on your record first. If your benefit as a spouse is higher than your retirement benefit, you will receive a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse’s benefits. A spouse generally receives 50 percent of the retired worker’s full benefit, unless the spouse begins collecting benefits before full retirement age. If the spouse begins collecting benefits before full retirement age, the amount of the spouse’s benefit is reduced by a percentage based on the number of months before he or she reaches full retirement age. For example, based on a full retirement age of 66, if a spouse begins collecting benefits:

• At age 65, the benefit amount would be about 46 percent of the retired worker’s full benefit.

• At age 64, it would be about 42 percent.

• At age 63, 37.5 percent.

• At age 62, 35 percent.

However, if a spouse is taking care of a child who is either under age 16 or disabled and receives Social Security benefits on the same record, a spouse will get full benefits, regardless of age. Learn more by reading our Retirement publication at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10035.html.

Question:

I work in retirement. How much can I earn and still collect full Social Security retirement benefits?

Answer:

Social Security uses the formulas below, depending on your age, to determine how much you can earn before we must reduce your benefit:

If you are younger than full retirement age: $1 in benefits will be deducted for each $2 you earn above the annual limit. For 2016, that limit is $15,720.

In the year you reach your full retirement age: $1 in benefits will be deducted for each $3 you earn above a different limit, but we count only earnings before the month you reach full retirement age. For 2016, this limit is $41,880.

Starting with the month you reach full retirement age: you will get your benefits with no limit on your earnings.

Find out your full retirement age at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/ageincrease.htm.