99.9% of those who do, can’t answer all 10 questions correctly.
Then come back here for the answers below. Good Luck!
1) False. If you collect Social Security
retirement benefits before reaching full
retirement age, you effectively lock in a
lower monthly benefit amount. If you wait
to begin collecting until after you reach
full retirement age, you become eligible
for delayed retirement credits. These
credits increase your monthly benefit
amount by 8 percent each year that you
delay collecting, up to a maximum of 32
percent. Once you reach age 70, no additional delayed retirement credits accrue.
2) False. Social Security retirement
benefits are only paid while you are alive.
Assuming you qualify, you would receive
the greater of your own benefit or your
spouse’s benefit but not both.
3) False You do not have to be a U.S.
citizen to qualify for Social Security
retirement benefits. Resident aliens who
pay into the Social Security system may
qualify to receive retirement benefits,
assuming they earn enough credits and
meet additional criteria. To become part
of the Social Security system, non-U.S.
citizens must have lawful alien status,
permission by the U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services (USCIS) to work in
the U.S. and a Social Security number.
4) False. Your full retirement age is based
on the year you were born. For people
born between 1943 and 1954, the full
retirement age is 66. If you were born in
1960 or later, the full retirement age is
67. For anyone born between 1955 and
1959, the full retirement age increases
5) False. You can work and receive Social
Security retirement benefits. However, if
you have not reached full retirement age,
your earnings will be subject to the
retirement earnings test. If your income
exceeds the test limit, Social Security
may withhold all or a portion of your
benefits. Withheld benefits are repaid
over your lifetime once you reach full
6) True. When you file for Social Security
retirement benefits, your children may
also qualify to receive benefits based
on your record. An eligible child can be
your biological child, adopted child or
stepchild. A dependent grandchild may
also qualify. Normally, benefits stop when
children reach age 18 unless they are
disabled. However, if the child is still a full-time student at a secondary school at age
18, benefits will continue until the child
graduates or until two months after the
child becomes age 19, whichever is first.
7) True. You may be eligible to receive
retirement benefits based on your ex-spouse’s earnings record, provided that:
• Your marriage lasted at least 10 years;
• You are currently unmarried;
• You are at least 62 years old; and
• The benefit you would receive based
on your personal earnings history is
less than the benefit amount you would
receive if you filed for benefits based on
your ex-spouse’s earnings record.
If your ex-spouse has not yet applied
for retirement benefits, but qualifies for
them, you can collect benefits based on
his or her record provided that you have
been divorced for at least two years.
8) False. The Social Security Act of 1973
included a provision for cost-of-living
adjustments (COLAs) to help Social
Security benefits account for inflation.
Each year, the Social Security Administration uses specific indexes and formulas
mandated by this legislation to determine
whether a COLA will apply to benefits
paid in the coming year and if so, how
much the increase will be. For more
detailed information on how COLAs
are calculated, visit the Social Security
Administration website indicated below.
9) True. For certain workers, Social
Security imposes two “offsets” that
reduce the full Social Security monthly
benefits that might otherwise have been
paid. The Windfall Elimination Provision
(WEP) affects workers who have earned
a pension from an employer (such as a
government agency) that did not collect
Social Security taxes and who also have
worked in other jobs long enough to earn
Social Security benefits. Under the WEP
provision, Social Security uses a modified
formula to calculate your benefit, resulting
in a lower benefit than you might otherwise have received. The second offset,
called the Government Pension Offset
(GPO), affects a spouse’s benefit based
on your earnings. The GPO can reduce
spousal benefits to $0.
10) True. Many spouses choose to stay
at home to raise children or otherwise
spend extended periods of time outside
the paid workforce. This can affect a
spouse’s ability to qualify for Social
Security benefits. In such cases, the
spouse who earns less may be eligible
for a Social Security spousal benefit.
A spousal benefit can be as much as
50 percent of the higher earning spouse’s
full retirement age benefit. The exact
percentage will depend on whether or
not each spouse has reached his or her
full retirement age.
THE BIG PICTURE