Retirees can anticipate several changes to Social Security over the next two years, including higher benefits and improved customer service. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has recently released its “Vision 2025” plan, outlining its projects for the coming years while celebrating its 80 years of history, the Washington Examiner reported.
Vision 2025: What’s Changing in Social Security?
Here are four changes that retirees can expect in relation to Social Security as stated in Vision 2025:
1. Higher Maximum Benefits
The maximum benefits that retirees can receive at full retirement age are subject to change with inflation. The most recent increase took place in 2023, raising the maximum benefit from $3,345 in 2022 to $3,627 in 2023. Based on current inflation rates, another increase is anticipated before 2025.
The maximum amount each beneficiary can receive depends on their retirement age. For Vision 2025, beneficiaries can expect the following changes:
- Retirees at the age of 62 can receive monthly installments of up to $2,572
- Retirees at the age of 67 are entitled to a maximum benefit of $3,627
- Individuals who delay retirement until the age of 70 receive the highest maximum payment of up to $4,555 per month
It’s important to note that not every beneficiary receives the maximum payment, as it also depends on the duration of their contributions to Social Security and the amount of money they have paid into the program over the years.
2. Change in Monthly Income due to Cost of Living Increase
According to May’s 2023 consumer price index report, released last month, a 2.7% increase is expected for the year 2024. In comparison, the COLA increase last year was 8.7%.
Two adjustments will be made prior to the 2025 payments, making it challenging to determine the exact increase beneficiaries can expect to see. In the Vision 2025 plan, the first increase will be announced in October, and the second adjustment will follow a year later. The final determination is based on the average inflation rate and CPI-W of the third quarter months: July, August, and September.
3. Better Customer Service
The SSA has expressed its commitment to improving the customer service experience by employing “exceptional” workers and accommodating recipients through various communication channels as stated in the Vision 2025 plan. Customers will have the freedom to choose when, where, and how they receive services.
The SSA also aims to personalize a beneficiary’s interaction with the agency based on their individual needs, preferences, and relationship with Social Security.
4. A Change for Women Receiving Benefits
Due to the growing female workforce, more women are expected to receive their own retirement benefits by 2025 instead of relying solely on their spouse’s benefits.
The SSA projects that by 2025, over half of women over the age of 60 will receive benefits based solely on their own work. This percentage is expected to further increase to 70% by 2095. The administration also predicts that over one-third of women will be qualified for benefits based on their own work and their spouse’s work in 2025. However, this number is projected to decrease to one quarter by 2095.