New figures announced
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that Social Security and SSI beneficiaries will receive a 1.5% cost-of-living (COLA) adjustment for 2014. According to the SSA’s announcement, after the COLA adjustment, the estimated average retirement benefit will rise from $1,275 in 2013 to $1,294 in 2014.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has also announced next year’s Medicare costs. The standard monthly Medicare Part B premium will be $104.90 in 2014, the same as in 2013. However, beneficiaries with higher incomes (individuals with taxable incomes of more than $85,000 and couples with taxable incomes of more than $170,000) will pay more than $104.90 per month because they must pay an income-related surcharge.
Other important Social Security and Medicare figures are listed below.
2014 Social Security figures
The amount of taxable earnings subject to the Social Security tax (called the maximum taxable earnings limit) will increase to $117,000 from $113,700 in 2013.
The annual retirement earnings test exempt amount for beneficiaries under full retirement age will increase to $15,480 from $15,120 in 2013. If a beneficiary has earnings that exceed the exempt amount, $1 in benefits will be withheld for every $2 in earnings above the exempt amount.
The annual retirement earnings test exempt amount that applies during the year a beneficiary reaches full retirement age will increase to $41,400 from $40,080 in 2013. If a beneficiary has earnings that exceed this amount, $1 in benefits will be withheld for every $3 in earnings above the exempt amount.
The amount of earnings needed to earn one Social Security credit will increase to $1,200 from $1,160 in 2013.
2014 Medicare figures
The Medicare Part B deductible will be $147, the same as in 2013.
The monthly Medicare Part A premium for those who need to buy coverage will cost up to $426, down from $441 in 2013. However, most people don’t pay a premium for Medicare Part A.
The Medicare Part A deductible for inpatient hospitalization will be $1,216, up from $1,184 in 2013. Beneficiaries will pay an additional daily co-insurance amount of $304 for days 61 through 90, up from $296 in 2013, and $608 for stays beyond 90 days, up from $592 in 2013.
Beneficiaries in skilled nursing facilities will pay a daily co-insurance amount of $152 for days 21 through 100 in a benefit period, up from $148 in 2013.