It became law 84 years ago

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law on Aug. 13, 1935. The 84th anniversary arrives Wednesday.

Many millions receive it

About 62 million people, or more than one in every six U.S. residents, collected Social Security benefits in June 2018. While older Americans make up about four in five beneficiaries, another one-fifth of beneficiaries received Social Security Disability Insurance or were young survivors of deceased workers.

More money means more money

Social Security benefits are based on the earnings on which you pay Social Security payroll taxes. The higher your earnings (up to a maximum taxable amount, currently $128,400), the higher your benefit.

No bonanza from benefits

Social Security benefits are much more modest than many people realize; the average Social Security retirement benefit in June 2018 was about $1,413 per month, or about $17,000 per year.

It helps prevent poverty

Without Social Security benefits, about 4 in 10 Americans aged 65 and older would have incomes below the poverty line.


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