Payroll tax cut ends. Workers are once again paying 6.2% of their earnings into the Social Security trust fund. There had been a 2% reduction in 2011 and 2012.
Higher payroll tax cap. Workers only pay the 6.2% on earnings up to $113,700. That's an increase of $3600 from 2012.
More online services. You can file for Social Security online, you can access your Social Security statements online, you can access a benefit verification letter and payment history online, you can change your address and start or change dirct-deposit information online.
Reduced office hours. Since November 2012 Social Security offices have been closing 30 minutes early each day. Beginning January 2nd, they will close at noon every Wednesday.
No more paper checks. As of March 1st, Social Security will no longer mail paper checks to recipients. Beneficiaries will have to choose between having payments directly deposited or loaded onto a prepaid Direct Express Debit MasterCard.
Higher earnings limit. People between 62 and 66 who work and collect Social Security at the same time can earn $15,120 in 2013 before any benefits are withheld. Once earnings exceed that threshold, $1 in benefits is withheld for every $2 earned. People who turn 66 in 2013 can earn up to $40,080 and then will have $1 in benefits withheld for every $3 earned. Once a beneficiary turns 66, there is no longer an earnings limit.
Payments have increased. All beneficiaries received a 1.7% increase effective with their January 2013 payment.
The Social Security Administration has an excellent website with lots of useful information. Check it out at www.ssa.gov.