Social Security News Stories: A Quiz

A+ Rubber Stamp on Notebook PaperTest Your Knowledge of Social Security with this Quiz

Take the following quiz to check how much you remember of the most important Social Security News stories of 2014. See how high your score is by comparing your responses to the answers at the bottom of this post.

1. On October 23, 2013 the Wall Street Journal ( stated that according to Alicia Munnell of Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research, Social Security for individuals who in delay applying for benefits receive “Delayed Retirement Credits” called DRCs.  In general, DRCs bump a “baby boomer’s” Full Retirement Age (FRA) benefit up by:
A. 8 percent from FRA to 70 (That is, a total of 8 percent for the four-year period.)
B. 8 percent per year
C. 8 percent per month
D. 8 percent from early retirement to FRA age

2. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was enacted on September 21, 1996 and is a U.S. Federal law that allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages. In 2013 the Supreme Court repealed Section Three of DOMA which, among other things, allowed legally married same-sex couples to claim Social Security benefits. The San Francisco Chronicle ( on June 26, 2013 reported that the Williams Institute, a think tank at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law estimated at the time of repeal there were the following number of married same-sex couples in the United States:
A. 1,140,000 married same-sex couples
B. 114,000 married same-sex couples
C. 11,400 married same-sex couples
D. There were no legally married same-sex couples

3. Each year the Trustees of Social Security and Medicare issue a report on the current and future financial status of the two programs. On May 31, 2013 and after the 2013 Social Security Trustees Annual Report was released Romina Bocccia and Rachel Grezler reported the following on the Heritage Foundation Web site ( Which of the following is true?
A. In the past Social Security surpluses were spent by the Federal government.
B. Social Security had a cash flow deficit of $55 billion in 2012.
C. If no action is taken before 2033 Social Security benefits will be reduced by 23 percent.
D. All of the above are correct

4. The Wall Street Journal ( in November, 2013 reported that according to Michel Kitces, CFP delaying applying for Social Security benefits will have the following affect(s):
A. Protects against unanticipated longevity
B. Is a great “hedge” against inflation
C. Dampens the effects of mediocre market performance
D. All of the above

5. In October 2013 the Wall Street Journal ( published a Social Security Administration announcement that Social Security recipients will receive a cost-of-living (COLA) increase beginning in January 2014. Which of the following is the correct amount of the COLA increase?
A. 1.0 percent
B. 1.25 percent
C. 1.50 percent
D. 1.75 percent

ANSWERS: 1(B), 2(B), 3(D), 4(D), 5(C)


About ksindell

Kathleen Sindell, Ph.D. is the author of numerous academic, popular, and professional finance articles, Web sites, proposals, and books. This includes the bestselling reference book, "Investing Online for Dummies, Eds 1-5" (listed for two consecutive years on the Wall Street Journal's Bestselling Business Book List). Her most recent book "Social Security: Maximize your Benefits" has been listed in Amazon's Top 100 Bestselling Retirement Planning Books. It is important to note that "Social Security: Maximize Your Benefits, 2nd Edition" was just released. Sindell has an in-depth understanding of the financial services industry and has held Series 7, 63, and 65 licenses. Dr. Sindell is regularly tapped as a financial services expert on ABC World News, The Nightly Business Report, and at popular online and print outlets. Kathleen Sindell, Ph.D. is a member of the Board of Directors for the Financial Planning Association, National Capital Area (FPA NCA), is on the Editorial Advisory Panel of the Journal of Financial Planning, and is Co-Chair of the Metro Washington Financial Planning Day. Sindell is a Course Chair II, CFP Program Academic Officer, and adjunct full-professor at the University of Maryland, UMUC, School of Undergraduate Studies. Contact Information: or 703-299-1700
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