Social Security’s been a fact of retirement life ever since it was established in 1935. We all think we know how it works, but how much do you really know? Here are nine things that might surprise you.
- The Social Security trust fund is huge. It is estimated to be $2.9 trillion by the end of 2020.1
- Most workers are eligible for Social Security benefits, but not all. For example, until 1984, federal government employees were part of the Civil Service Retirement System and were not covered by Social Security.2
- You don’t have to work long to be eligible. If you were born in 1929 or later, you need to work for 10 or more years to be eligible for benefits.2
- Benefits are based on an individual’s average earnings during a lifetime of work under the Social Security system. The calculation is based on the 35 highest years of earnings. If an individual has years of low or no earnings, Social Security may count those years to bring the total years to 35.3
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