CA Joins 16 Other States for Ease of Replacing SS Cards

The Social Security Administration announced in their blog today that California drivers can now replace their Social Security cards online. SSA’s online application makes getting a replacement card super easy and California joins the growing list of 16 other states and the District of Columbia where your employees can use this service. Other states include Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. As long as your employees have a California driver’s license or a state issued identification card they can request replacement Social Security cards online through the My Social Security portal. Check out SSA’s blog today for more information.

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Happy 81st Birthday to Social Security

Over the past weekend Social Security turned 81 and is still going strong and making a difference in peoples lives. According to a report from the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, Social Security helpssa logos more than 60 million individuals or almost one-third of the U.S. population. The average benefit in 2016 is $1,350 per month. While it may not seem like a whole lot of money, it is the majority of income for 45% of all seniors. For 22% of seniors it is 90% of their income. Without Social Security income the poverty rate among women age 65 and older would increase from 12% to over 45% according to a 2015 report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. And it will become more important in years to come.  One of the reasons Social Security is becoming more important is the decline in pensions. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute and Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 80% of employees at medium and large firms had pensions in 1985. However less than 30% do today.  So happy birthday Social Security and hopefully you will have many, many more.

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Wedding Season and Payroll

I just finished reading the latest blog from the Social Security Administration on the beginning of the “wedding season”. Now what do weddings have to do with payroll? Well as the blog pointed out amid all the wedding planning and gift buying there still remains one simple fact.  A wedding often means a name change is in order.  This is often overlooked by the happy couple.  Although no law requires that the woman take the man’s name, it is still a common practice after a heterosexual marriage ceremony. In fact, now a days, name changes are possible in any number of combinations. Either participant may make a name change or the couple may want to create a new name.  But as the SSA points out if either  of the wedding couple are legally changing their name, they need to apply for a replacement Social Security card to reflect the new name.  How does this involve payroll? Payroll needs to make sure that all employees understand that name changes will not be accepted until a new Social Security card is presented. Reminding employees that if the name change is done on the payroll but not done with the SSA, any future earnings reported to the SSA will not be put into the employee’s account but rather go into a suspense account until the name change is recorded with the SSA. It might be a good idea to remind employees when a wedding is made public at work or just in general.  Company newsletters, posters and reminders are all ways to get the word out to employees. Then all payroll needs to do is figure out what to get the happy couple.

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OASDI Wage Base for 2016

Well it now starts that time of year again…updates by the score.  And of course the first one is the one we all wait for.  The social security or OASDI taxable wage base.  As you may have seen in the news the Consumer Price Index did not show an increase this year.  So there will be no increase in social security benefits.  But that also reflects on the social security taxable wage base. So the 2016 wage base will be $118,500.  The same as it is this year.  For more information check out the SSA website.ssa

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