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Social Security Administration

March 20, 2012 | Michael Hiltzik
"You know you can't count on Social Security. " For years, that's been the scare-tactic pitch of unscrupulous investment brokers, annuities hawkers and their friends in Congress as they tried to peddle retirement deals to people reluctant to part with their money. The phrase has been repeated so often that it's become an article of faith for many who are still years away from collecting their checks. But it's not true, and for more than a decade a powerful rebuttal has appeared in the mailboxes of some 150 million Americans once a year, in the form of a statement saying how much their monthly check would be when they retire.
April 14, 2014 | Michael Hiltzik
A certain William Wachtel, the co-founder of WhyTuesday , an election reform group chaired by former UN Ambassador Andrew Young, wrote me over the weekend to complain that I treated Young harshly by criticizing his proposal to require Social Security to issue photo IDs. I called it "a terrible idea. " Norman Ornstein, a political scientist at the American Enterprise Institute and another co-founder of WhyTuesday, also defended the proposal, which Young mentioned at an event last week marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. Ornstein mounted his defense via Twitter , which only made Young's idea sound even shallower and more foolish.  What these gentlemen failed to do is explain why requiring Social Security to issue photo IDs is not a terrible idea.
July 14, 1989 | From Times wire service s
Gwendolyn S. King, a former aide to Sen. John Heinz (R-Pa.), was nominated today by President Bush to replace Dorcas Hardy as head of the Social Security Administration. King, a corporate executive, was director of Pennsylvania's Washington office when U.S. Atty. Gen. Dick Thornburgh was governor of the state.
April 11, 2014 | Michael Hiltzik
Some Democrats have suddenly embraced the old notion of turning Social Security cards into national photo IDs. The goal is to undermine Republican voter suppression efforts that rely on demanding government-issued photos, by making these universally available. What a terrible idea. First, the endorsement parade: It was started this week by former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young while attending a ceremony at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
February 4, 2006 | Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Times Staff Writer
Social Security has been so overwhelmed helping seniors cope with the new Medicare drug program that other services are starting to suffer, a senior government official said in a candid internal e-mail released Friday. A large backlog of cases is getting worse, and the agency is cutting back on audits that save the government money. "It's not a rosy picture, and the news doesn't get better," Deputy Commissioner for Operations Linda S. McMahon wrote to operations employees.
The calls from livid constituents to Democratic Assemblyman Richard Katz's Panorama City office complaining about upcoming cuts in benefits for the aged and the disabled began pouring in late last week. This week, as the calls swelled into a tide, Katz's staff investigated and found that the Social Security Administration office in Van Nuys was telling outraged recipients that Katz and two other Democratic state legislators were responsible for the impending reductions.
February 17, 2010 | Michael Hiltzik
Like a zombie tromping through a Hollywood gorefest, the idea of privatizing Social Security still walks among us. The last promoter of the idea that people should personally invest their Social Security assets in the stock market was President George W. Bush, in 2001. With the dot-com crash still ringing in people's memories, the idea died in 2005. The market hasn't yet recovered from its most recent crash, but the monster unaccountably is back on its feet. This time it comes dressed up as part of the "Roadmap for America's Future" recently unfurled by Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.
October 2, 1992 | Associated Press
Louis Enoff, deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration, has been named acting commissioner, taking over for Gwendolyn King who resigned, a spokesman said.
July 15, 1989 | From Associated Press
Gwendolyn S. King, a former aide to Sen. John Heinz (R-Pa.), was nominated Friday by President Bush to replace Dorcas R. Hardy as head of the Social Security Administration.
April 4, 1997 | Associated Press
About 1 million retirees who work to supplement their Social Security income no longer have to report their earnings to the Social Security Administration. Under new regulations, the agency instead will get the information from W-2 tax reports received from senior citizens' employers. The Social Security Administration needs to know what senior citizens earn from jobs so the agency can calculate any required benefit reductions.
March 21, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
It's no secret that if you really want to destroy a business, just hack away at its customer service. (Sears has been testing this axiom with considerable vigor.) The principle also holds true for government programs, which is why you should be very suspicious about the relentless budget-cutting at the Social Security Administration. Mark Miller of Reuters brings us up to date on this underhanded campaign, which involves closing field offices by the score, satellite offices by the hundreds and service staff by the thousands.
March 21, 2014 | By David Lazarus
Lee is making some changes in his life. He wants to know what happens if he renounces his U.S. citizenship and becomes instead a citizen of the Philippines. Can he keep receiving Social Security checks? An intriguing scenario. Lee doesn't say why he wants to switch teams, but it could have something to do with taxes. A number of Americans jump ship each year because they're displeased with the U.S. tax system. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions In any case, the Social Security Administration does have a status for ex-citizens who may be due monthly checks.
January 2, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
Call them the 900: The Americans who will meet their 2014 payroll tax obligations for Social Security as of today, Day 2 of the New Year. They're an impressive group and very elite, bless their hearts: To have earned the maximum taxable wage for Social Security in 2014 ($117,000) in two days, one's annual income has to exceed about $21.3 million. The Social Security Administration says that in 2012, the latest year for which it has figures, 894 wage-earners collected more than $20 million, which is as narrowly as it slices the data.
December 19, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute, whose disdainful take on the plight of older workers I described this week as " fatuous and flatly untrue ," defended his position Thursday as " substantively ... correct . "  We can't both be right on this, so let's take a look at his evidence. I think you'll find it doesn't stand up to scrutiny. To recap, Biggs said in testimony before a Senate subcommittee Wednesday that there shouldn't be a problem in raising the retirement age for Social Security from 66 to 67 between 2017 and 2022.
October 30, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
Monthly Social Security payments will rise 1.5% next year, bringing the average benefit amount to about $1,288 after an annual cost-of-living adjustment, the Social Security Administration announced Wednesday. The 1.5% rise is the smallest increase since 2002 and is down from the 1.7% adjustment in 2012.  The annual cost-of-living adjustment is based on a consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers. Inflation has remained low in recent years, underscored by the latest government data which showed that inflation in September was up just 1.2% from the year before.
September 13, 2013 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: I'm 64 and lost my last full-time job a year ago. I have since exhausted my unemployment benefits and been on and off food stamps. (I'm waiting to get back on them right now because my temporary-to-permanent job didn't become permanent after all.) Fortunately I almost never need to go to a doctor, or if I do, I don't know that I do and can't afford to find out. I have about $3,000 in emergency savings, and my IRA is about $15,000. I was fortunate enough to sell a home in Hawaii 20 years ago, but I managed to run through all the money.
March 18, 1990
Gwendolyn S. King, commissioner of the Social Security Administration, will dedicate the Hebert R. Doggette Jr. Training Center on Thursday. The center, which trains Social Security representatives for the San Francisco region, is named in honor of the man who is retiring from federal service March 31.
May 17, 2013 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: A few years ago I finished paying off my debt and now am in the very low-risk credit category. I have savings equal to about three months' worth of bills and am working to get that to six months' worth. I'm wondering, though, about an emergency that may require me to pay in cash (such as a major power outage that disables debit or credit card systems, or the more likely event that I forget the ATM or credit card at home). How much cash should a person have on hand? Is there a magic number?
May 8, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- The bipartisan Senate immigration proposal would provide a boost to the Social Security fund, its chief actuary said Wednesday, as more immigrants come out of the underground economy and begin paying taxes. The assessment of the bill's impact on Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance is another entry in a growing body of economic data amassing on both sides of the immigration reform debate. “Overall, we anticipate that the net effect of this bill on the long-range OASDI actuarial balance will be positive,”  Stephen C. Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration, wrote in a letter to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)
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