Social Security

For 75 years, Americans have been paying into Social Security so they have an income when they are ready to retire. Dates of Significance in the Social Security Program are as follows...

1935: Social Security is created

1937: Social Security payroll taxes begin

1939: Social Security provides benefits to spouses, minor children and survivors of workers who die prematurely

1940: Social Security pays out monthly benefits for the first time, drawing on workers contributions that were made starting in 1937. Ida Mae Fuller receives the first monthly benefit from Social Security. Her check is for $22.40

1944: Mary Thomson, a widow, is the 1 millionth beneficiary of Social Security benefits

1950: Social Security adds the first cost of living adjustment (COLA) so benefits can keep pace with inflation

1956: Social Security provides benefits to disabled workers aged 50-64 and disabled adult children. Women are permitted to retire early at age 62 with a reduced benefit

1961: Social Security allows ment to retire early, starting at age 62, with reduced benefit

1972: Social Security adds the Supplemental Security Income program, which provides income security for elderly, blind or disabled persons

1972: Social Security establishes wage indexing of the initial benefit amount upon retirement, in order to ensure that benefits keep up with increases in the standard of living

1977: To extend solvency, the government makes several changes to Social Security. For example, it raises the payroll tax and reduces benefits slightly

1983: In response to Social Security's financial problems, Congress passes legislation that delays the cost of living increase for six months; increases scheduled rates in payroll tax; adds federal employers, including members of Congress; and starts taxing a portion of Social Security benefits. It also gradually increases the retirement age from 65 to 67

1993: The government increases the portion of benefits subject to taxation beginning in 1994

2000: The government eliminates the retirement Earnings test for seniors at or above the normal retirement age, allowing all seniors who continue working to receive full benefits instead of having them reduced based on earnings

2008: Kathleen Casey-Kirshling, who is generally recognized as the first boomer, receives her first Social Security check.

2010: Social Security turns 75. The average monthly benefit is just over $1,050

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