Social Security benefits are key to most Americans’ quality of life during retirement. Yet, an alarming number of clients approaching retirement do not have a basic understanding of Social Security benefits. Twelve fundamental questions were posed to 1,5001 pre-retirees to gauge their Social Security knowledge. Take the same true/false survey quiz below to see how well your understanding stacks up against the pre-retirees surveyed.
Social Security Quiz
- If I claim [retirement] benefits before my full retirement age, they will be reduced for early filing.
- If I am receiving [retirement] benefits before my full retirement age and continue to work, my benefits might be reduced based on how much I make.
- Once I start collecting Social Security benefits, my benefits will never change.
- If I have a spouse, he or she can receive benefits from my record [of earnings] even if he or she has never paid any Social Security taxes.
- If I have a spouse and he or she passes away, I will receive both my full [retirement] benefit and my deceased spouse’s full [retirement] benefit.
- The money that comes out of my paycheck for Social Security taxes goes into a specific account for me and remains there, earning interest, until I begin to receive Social Security benefits.
- Under current Social Security law, full retirement age is 65 no matter when you were born.
- As a divorced person, I might be able to collect Social Security benefits based on my ex-spouse’s earnings history.
- Under current law, Social Security [retirement] benefits could be reduced for everyone in 2035.
- My dependent children under age 18 may qualify for Social Security retirement benefits if I have claimed Social Security retirement benefits.
- If I delay taking Social Security [retirement] benefits past the age of 70, I will continue to get delayed retirement credit increases each year I wait.
- I must be a U.S. citizen to collect Social Security retirement benefits.
- True – Benefits can generally be claimed as early as age 62 but will be permanently reduced by as much as 30%.
- True – But the reduced benefits will be paid if the retiree lives long enough.
- False – A cost of living adjustment will be added for any year in which inflation occurs.
- True – A qualifying spouse with no earnings record can generally receive a benefit of as much as 50% of the amount paid to the spouse with an earnings record.
- False – The surviving spouse generally receives the greater of his/her benefit or 100% of the deceased spouse’s benefit, but not both.
- False – There is no separate account holding a worker’s Social Security taxes paid and there is no interest paid to the worker.
- False – This age ranges from age 65 to 67 depending upon the worker’s year of birth. The normal retirement age for most of the post-Baby Boomer generations is age 67.
- True – A divorced spouse can receive as much as 50% of their former spouse’s benefit.
- True – Retirement and survivorship benefits will be reduced by approximately 25% in 2035 without changes to current law. Disability benefits (a separate Social Security program) are funded through 2065.
- True – The worker’s dependent children under age 18 are generally eligible for retirement benefits if the worker has claimed a benefit.
- False – There is no reason to delay the claiming of retirement benefits beyond age 70.
- False – A legal immigrant with sufficient earnings may qualify for benefits.
|Number of Questions Correct||Feedback|
|12||You are better informed than 97% of the pre-retirees surveyed.|
|8 or more||You are better informed than 50% or more of the pre-retirees surveyed but we recommend additional training before discussing Social Security with clients.|
|Less than 8||Be very cautious in discussing Social Security with clients until you have received training in Social Security benefits and requirements.|
If you would like more information on GCA’s Social Security competency resources contact David Greene at 404-324-4600 or via email at email@example.com or Rick Swygman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Sergeant, Jacqueline (2021, April 7). Most Near-Retirees Miserably Fail Basic Social Security Quiz. Retrieved from https://www.fa-mag.com/news/near-retirees-miserably-failed-basic-social-security-quiz-61343.html