A GUIDE TO YOUR DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION PLAN

Social Security

FAST FACTS

  • Your Social Security benefit is only a piece of your income during your retirement years.
  • The year you were born determines at what age you are eligible for your normal Social Security benefit.
  • The Social Security Administration has a great deal of information available. You can contact them at (800) 772-1213 or visit them online at www.ssa.gov

 

The Social Security taxes that you and your coworkers see coming out of each paycheck are used to pay Social Security benefits and Medicare program expenses. You and your employer pay taxes into the system. In the year 2014, you and your employer each paid 7.65% of your gross salary (6.20% for Social Security up to $117,000 and 1.45% for Medicare). If you earned more than $117,000 in the year 2014, you continued to pay the Medicare portion of the Social Security tax on the rest of your earnings.

Generally, you must work and contribute to Social Security to get benefits. The amount of your Social Security benefit is based on your date of birth, the type of benefit you are applying for (retirement, survivor or dependent) and, most importantly, your earnings, which are generally averaged over your lifetime.

The timing of when you can begin receiving your Social Security retirement benefit depends on the year in which you were born. Look at the table below:

Age to Receive Full Social Security Benefits

Year of Birth

Full Retirement Age

 

Year of Birth

Full Retirement Age

1937 or earlier

65

1955

66 and 2 months

1938

65 and 2 months

1956

66 and 4 months

1939

65 and 4 months

1957

66 and 6 months

1940

65 and 6 months

1958

66 and 8 months

1941

65 and 8 months

1959

66 and 10 months

1942

65 and 10 months

1960 or later

67

1943 – 1954

66

 

You may also decide to continue to work full-time past your full retirement age. If you choose to do this, you will generally increase your average earnings, which in turn will increase your benefit. You will also earn a special credit given to individuals who delay their retirement. Your age and a pre-determined percentage determine this credit. If you are totally disabled at any age, you may also qualify for full Social Security. There are also benefits for spouses with children under 18, full time students to age 22, and for widows at least 60 years of age.

In addition to Social Security benefits and the pension available through the Electrical Workers Local No. 26 Pension Trust Fund, you may also be entitled to receive a pension from the National Electrical Benefit Fund (NEBF), which has been established by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association, as well as a pension from the IBEW. You may also have an account in the Individual Account Fund, established through your Local 26 collective bargaining agreement, that, would supplement your retirement benefits.

Want More Information?

The Social Security Administration has comprehensive booklets and online information about Social Security benefits and how they fit into your total retirement planning. You can even have a projection of your estimated Social Securitybenefits sent to you.

Call the Social Security Administration and request a personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement (ask for Form SSA 7004). Call the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213 or visit them online at www.ssa.gov.