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Changes happening with Social Security

By Dian Vujovich

Everybody loves his or her Social Security checks, right? But if your preference is to receive yours through the mail, forget about it. That won’t happe for some of this year’s new recipients. As for those already in the system, the change is a couple of years away.

Expect to see a few changes in the Social Security program this year. Below are overviews of three of them gleaned from a recent U.S.News & World Report:

•2 percent more money this year. Yep, the amount workers must pay into the trust fund will drop from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent in 2011 ONLY on taxable wages up to $106,800. The self-employed folks will see the rate drop from 12.4 percent to 10.4 percent NEXT year. All thanks to the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, the prez signed on December 17th.

• No more free loans. You can forget about getting that interest-free loan from Social Security this year if you began taking payments at age 62, then decided to stop and pay it all back.

• Snail-mail is out; electronic checks in. Those who apply for SS on or after May 1, 2011 won’t be able to decide whether they want their payments made by paper check or electronically. Their choice will be to have the payments deposited directly into a bank or credit union account or put on a prepaid Direct Express Debit MasterCard. Anyone already receiving benefits and getting them as paper checks won’t need to make that choice and change until March 1, 2013.

BTW, this change is expected to save Social Security $1 billion over the next 10 years.

The full story is at: http://tinyurl.com/46qdlsu

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