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Why Don’t The Bidens Get a Larger Social Security Benefit?

You might think Joe Biden and his wife are really raking it in with Social Security.  After all, they’ve been very high income earners all their lives.  Not so.  Social Security is structured so it can’t pay out sky-high benefits, no matter how much beneficiaries earn in their working lives. Under the current rules for Social Security, payroll taxes are collected only up to $137,700 in 2020.  No tax is paid/collected after that, and any additional income earned also doesn’t count when benefits are calculated.  The amount is adjusted slightly upward for inflation each year.  Due to this, very high earners tend to get Social Security benefits equaling a smaller fraction of their total annual earnings than most retirees who can expect about a 40% replacement rate from income in their working years.  Christy Bieber explains more and the formula used to calculate benefits in the full article here.



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