Welfare Notes - January 2004

January, 2004

Social Security changes for 2004
The start of 2004 brought about changes in the Social Security system that affects both retired members and active working members. Some of the major changes are listed below. For more detailed information you may reach Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. Questions on Medicare benefits can be answered at 1-800-MEDICARE.


  • The annual cost of living increase in benefits payable in January 2004 is 2.1%.
  • The full retirement age is 65 years and 4 months for persons reaching the age 65 in 2004. The full retirement age for persons reaching age 62 in 2004 is 65 years and 10 months. Reduced benefits are still payable at age 62.
  • The earnings limit for beneficiaries under the full retirement age increases from $11,520 to $11,640.
  • If you attain full retirement age in 2004 the earnings limit is $31,080 for the period before the month you reach full retirement age. There is no limit at full retirement age or later.
  • The new maximum monthly benefit for retirees at full retirement age is $1,825.
  • The Medicare Part A deductible rises from $840 to $876. After 60 days in a hospital, you pay $219 per day for 30 days, then $438 per day for up to 60 days.
  • The Medicare Part B monthly premium increases from $58.70 to $66.60. This premium is reimbursable by the SUP Welfare Plan from Retirees Annual Medical Allowance.


SUP Money Purchase Pension Plan
All participants in the MPP were notified by mail of changes in the Plan. Columbia Funds Senior Account Manager Ms. Joan Steel will be at the following monthly membership meetings along with SUP Welfare Plan Representative Rich Reed to answer any questions on the conversion to Columbia.

  • Headquarters February 9, 2004 in the library
  • Honolulu February 17, 2004
  • Headquarters March 8, 2004 in the library
  • Seattle March 15, 2004