“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning." (Little Gidding)” — T.S. Eliot
Investment Advisory Board
The Board held its final meeting of the year on December 12, 2017. Quarterly Investment Reviews can be found on the Treasury web site at www.michigan.gov
*State Street Universe greater than $10 billion.
Keep An Eye Out
According to an AARP report, “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said recently that the Senate is unlikely to tackle Medicare and Social Security in 2018. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has also ruled out 2018 Medicare cuts. However, Ryan has made reducing the nation’s debt and reining in government spending a priority, and has openly discussed Medicare changes such as premium support.
Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid are among the government’s biggest programs. The government will spend about $700 billion on Medicare this year, a number the Congressional Budget Office projects will increase to nearly $1.4 trillion in 2027. AARP supports responsible solutions to reduce health care spending that do not shift costs onto Medicare beneficiaries or reduce their access to care.”
Highlights of Changes for 2018
Social Security checks are going up 2 percent in 2018
Now that Social Security beneficiaries will receive a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment in 2018, much or all of the gain may go toward Medicare Part B premiums. (Some of us have already seen our COLA disappear.)
New security features have recently been added to the Social Security website. Social Security account holders now need to enter a one-time security code sent to their phone or email address in addition to a username and password each time they log in. “Two-factor authentication is safer than just a username and password,” says Susan Grant, director of consumer protection and privacy at the Consumer Federation of America. (I haven’t experienced the security code as yet, but have had to change my password which appears to be required every 6 months.)
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will mail out new Medicare cards without Social Security numbers printed on them beginning in April 2018.
The full retirement age will tick higher by two months. The Internal Revenue Service announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2018. The IRS today issued technical guidance detailing these items in Notice 2017-64.
The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan is increased from $18,000 to $18,500.
The income ranges for determining eligibility to make deductible contributions to traditional Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), to contribute to Roth IRAs and to claim the saver’s credit all increased for 2018. Read more at www.irs.gov and/or https://money.usnews.com.
Editor’s note: June Morse may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-886-9323.
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