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Home>UPDATE: These Americans will never get Social Security benefits -- and we don't mean millennials

UPDATE: These Americans will never get Social Security benefits -- and we don't mean millennials

UPDATE: These Americans will never get Social Security benefits -- and we don't mean millennials

09/24/2017

By Alessandra Malito, MarketWatch

3% of Americans aged 60-89 did not receive Social Security benefits in 2015

Today's young people fear that they will never see Social Security benefits. The reality is, 3% of elderly Americans already don't.

The three main groups of people who never receive Social Security benefits include infrequent workers (44.3%) who do not have sufficient earnings to qualify for the benefits, immigrants who arrived in the U.S. at 50 or older (37.3%) and therefore haven't worked long enough to qualify for the benefits, and non-covered workers (11.4%), such as state and local government employees. A little less than 7% of "never beneficiaries" were individuals who were expected to get Social Security benefits, but died before receiving them, according to a 2015 Social Security Administration report (https://www.ssa.gov/retirementpolicy/fact-sheets/never-beneficiaries.html).

What's worse, most Americans may not realize how much they will -- or will not -- receive in Social Security benefits, said Bill Meyer, chief executive of Social Security Solutions (http://socialsecuritysolutions.com/), a software provider that strategizes how to claim Social Security. Social Security benefits are based on earnings history from the past 35 years -- "The onus is on the individual retiree that the Social Security Administration has the right information," Meyer said.

See:More borrowers are losing Social Security benefits over old student loans (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/more-borrowers-are-losing-social-security-benefits-over-old-student-loans-2016-12-20)

Social Security benefits are hotly contested, specifically how -- or even whether -- those benefits will be distributed in the future. Young Americans say they're not confident they'll ever collect Social Security benefits (81% of millennials didn't think so, at least, according to a recent Investopedia survey (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/4-things-millennials-should-save-for-in-addition-to-retirement-2017-03-16)) but current near retirees may also be at risk. In December, the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee introduced a bill that would "save" Social Security (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dramatic-cuts-are-no-way-to-save-social-security-2017-01-19) by cutting benefits for above-average earners, eliminating the cost-of-living adjustment for individuals who make more than $85,000 (and $170,000 for couples), and increasing the full retirement age to 69 from 66.

There were about 58 million beneficiaries receiving Social Security payments (https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/quickfacts/stat_snapshot/) in February, according to the SSA, and the average monthly benefit was $1,249.55.

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