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Where can I view the balance on my SS/Medicare contributions

  1. Mar 27, 2015 #1
    I'm interested in how much $ I've contributed to my Social Security and Medicare savings account over my lifetime. Where can I go to view the balance? Can someone provide with a URL to the government site that shows how much is in my lock box?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 27, 2015 #2

    SteamKing

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    Social Security and Medicare benefits do not accrue like putting money into a personal savings account. You have no lock box to inspect, because current SS and Medicare taxes collected go to pay current beneficiaries. Any surplus funds are pooled and deposited into two SS Trust Fund accounts:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_Trust_Fund

    Of late, the trust funds have been running a hefty surplus, which the federal government has borrowed against to reduce its huge annual budget deficit. It is estimated that the SS trust funds could be exhausted by 2033 if adjustments are not made to the current payroll tax system.

    Congress can adjust SS benefits up or down by law, or cancel them altogether. The Supreme Court has ruled in previous cases that the federal government is not legally obligated to provide SS benefits:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flemming_v._Nestor

    The SSA mails out statements to certain individuals periodically. You can get your statement by going here:

    http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/statement.html

    Your SS retirement benefits are calculated using a formula:

    http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10070.pdf

    You can use this tool to estimate what your SS retirement benefit would be:

    http://www.ssa.gov/retire/estimator.html

    Medicare receives several sources of funding, including the payroll tax:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_(United_States)

    Medicare enrollees also must pay monthly premiums for the various parts, and these premiums vary by income:

    https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11579.pdf
     
  4. Mar 27, 2015 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    To sum up, here is the amount in your "lockbox": $0.
     
  5. Mar 28, 2015 #4
  6. Mar 28, 2015 #5

    jtbell

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    When you sign up for an account at the address Greg gave, you can view your history of Social Security contributions. As SteamKing and V50 noted, you shouldn't view those amounts as being in a "lockbox." Instead, they're used as inputs to a complex calculation that determines your actual benefits when you start to claim them at age 62 or later. One of SteamKing's links summarizes the calculation. The pages below have a couple of worked-out examples:

    http://www.ssa.gov/oact/progdata/retirebenefit1.html
    http://www.ssa.gov/oact/progdata/retirebenefit2.html

    You're pretty young, I think, so the rules for calculation may very well change by the time you retire. I think the current rules were established in the mid 1980s. And then there's the question of funding. As SteamKing noted, unless Congress either increases the SS payroll tax for at least some people, or reduces benefits for at least some people, the SS trust fund will be empty sometime around 2033. This doesn't mean that benefits would stop, but rather, that they would have to be reduced to match the money flowing in via the payroll tax. I think the usual figure people give is that benefits would have to be reduced to about 70% of the amount calculated by the current formula.

    Of course, in US politics, 18 years practically equals infinity. :rolleyes:
     
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