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Understanding How Social Security Retirement and Other Benefits are Determined

Understand how Social Security benefits are calculated and how to get the maximum amounts available.

Social Security benefits vary significantly based on work and compensation history and marital status; understanding how benefits are calculated will help you and your clients get the most they can from Social Security. Learn how Social Security benefits are calculated so that you and your client can maximize these benefits. For many U.S. workers, Social Security taxes are the largest single investment they will make in their own retirement security and Social Security benefits are the largest source of retirement income they will have. Moreover, individuals with large 401(k) or other pension income in retirement will typically have relatively high Social Security benefits that will greatly add to their financial security in retirement. Yet many Americans do not understand how their Social Security benefits are calculated, when they are eligible for them, or the best time to claim them. In addition, many Americans are not aware of Social Security's survivor and disability benefits, or how Social Security applies after a divorce. This topic will attempt to lay a basic foundation of understanding about these subjects, with particular emphasis on the determination and maximizing of Social Security retirement benefits.

Runtime: 111 minutes
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Why Lorman?

Over 32 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

Agenda

Overview of Social Security and Medicare

  • History, Purpose, Solvency Concerns
  • Social Security vs. Medicare vs. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Social Security Administration
  • Social Security Totalization Agreements With Foreign Countries

FICA and SEI Taxes

  • OASDI vs. HI
  • OASDI Maximum Wage Base
  • Medicare Surtax
  • Exclusion for Some State and Local Government Workers; Section 218 Agreements

Calculation of Social Security Retirement Benefits for Workers

  • Individual Earnings History
  • Eligibility Threshold (10 Years With at Least Minimal Earnings)
  • Importance of Social Security Retirement Age (SSRA)
  • Determination of Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) and Primary Insurance Amount (PIA)
  • Replacement Rate "Bend Points"
  • Reduced Benefits for Retirement Before SSRA; Increased Benefits for Retirement After SSRA
  • Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) for Some State and Local Government Workers
  • Benefit Reductions for Substantial Earnings While Receiving Benefits Before SSRA

Spousal Retirement Benefits

  • Basic Calculation of Spousal Benefit
  • Divorced Spouses
  • Dual Eligibility
  • Government Pension Offset (GPO)

Social Security Survivor Benefits

  • Different Types of Survivor Benefits
  • Eligible Family Members, Family Maximum

Social Security Disability Benefits

  • Qualification, Amount, Eligible Recipients

Brief Overview of Medicare

  • Parts A, B, C, and D
  • Qualification Dependent on Social Security Eligibility, but Separate Claiming
  • To Claim or Not to Claim If Working Past Age 65 and Still Eligible for Employer-Sponsored Plan
  • Medicare Secondary Payer Rules

Social Security Retirement Benefit Claiming Strategies Involving File and Suspend and File and Restrict

  • What They Were
  • Effect of Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015
  • What's Left and for How Long

Taxation of Social Security Benefits

  • Basic Calculation, Planning Strategies

Interfacing With SSA

  • Office Visits and Telephonic Interaction
  • Obtaining Your Social Security Earnings Records and Benefit Estimate
  • Using the SSA Website to Answer Complex Benefit Questions
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Why Lorman?

Over 32 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

Credits

OnDemand Webinar

This course was last revised on January 24, 2018.

Call 1-866-352-9540 for further credit information.

This program does NOT qualify, nor meet the National Standard for NASBA accreditation.

Audio & Reference Manual

  • Arizona CLE 1.5
     
  • CA MCLE 1.5
     
  • CT CLE 1.5
     
  • GA CLE 1.5
     
  • HI CLE 1.5
     
  • IL CLE 1.5
     
  • ME CLE 1.5
     
  • MT CLE 1.5
     
  • NJ CLE 1.8
     
  • NV CLE 1.5
     
  • VT CLE 1.5
     
  • WA CLE 1.5
     
  • WV MCLE 1.8
     
  • WY CLE 1.5
     
The CLE Code is ONLY a requirement when applying for CLE Credit in California (for participatory credit), Kansas, New Jersey or New York. Other states do not need to supply the CLE Code to apply for CLE credit.

This program does NOT qualify, nor meet the National Standard for NASBA accreditation.

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Why Lorman?

Over 32 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

Faculty

Luke D. Bailey

Luke D. Bailey

Clark Hill Strasburger

  • Partner with Clark Hill Strasburger, Collin County, TX
  • Specializes in ERISA and the application of federal income tax law to employee benefits and executive compensation
  • Named among The Best Lawyers in America┬«, highest rating by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, and included in D magazine List of Best Lawyers in Dallas in multiple years
  • J.D. degree, the University of California at Berkeley; A.B. degree, Occidental College
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Why Lorman?

Over 32 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

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Product ID: 401423
Published 2018
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