SOCIAL SECURITY

Social Security has expanded its online Benefits Planner that allows workers to compute customized estimates of Social Security benefits online. The planner, found at www.ssa.gov, now includes important information on disability and survivors benefits. The online planner that Social Security launched in April is evolving from strictly a retirement planner into a benefits planner containing a retirement planner, disability planner and survivors planner. Each planner contains valuable information about each type of benefit and factors that can affect them. The planner’s online calculators, that previously provided only estimates of retirement benefits, have been enhanced to add estimates for disability and survivors benefits. In addition, Social Security has expanded the Retirement Planner to include a link to the American Savings Education Council’s (ASEC) Ballpark Estimate Worksheet. The link to the worksheet enables individuals to combine their estimate of future Social Security benefits with estimates of income from pensions and savings to determine if they are saving enough for a comfortable retirement. “Linking Social Security’s Benefits Planner with ASEC’s Ballpark Estimate Worksheet provides one-stop retirement planning,” stated Fredi Franki, Social Security manager in San Angelo, Texas. An Earnings Limit Calculator has also been added to the Retirement planner. The Earnings Limit Calculator lets workers compute the effect of earnings on their Social Security retirement benefit. “American workers need easily accessible planning tools to help them with financial decisions,” noted Franki.” The Social Security Administration is making every effort to put these tools within easy reach of workers, in their mailboxes and on their computers. I would encourage every worker to take advantage of these tools.”

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