How Special Payments After You Retire Affect Your Social Security Benefit

woman on dock getting into kayak After you retire from your job or self-employment, you may get payments for work you did before you started receiving Social Security benefits. We call those “special payments.” Usually, special payments will not affect your Social Security benefit, if they are for work done before you retired. These payments will be counted in the last month you worked, unless the services can be shown to have been rendered in a prior period.

You should consider this when evaluating your work activity. If you are younger than full retirement age and make more than the yearly earnings limit, your earnings may reduce the amount of your monthly benefit. In 2018, the earnings limit is $17,040 if you are younger than full retirement age for the entire calendar year. If you reach full retirement age in 2018, the earnings limit is $45,360 for the months before you reach full retirement age. Starting with the month you reach full retirement age, you can receive your full monthly benefit no matter how much money you earn.

If you were self-employed, any net income you receive after the first year you retire counts as a special payment if you performed the services before you began receiving Social Security benefits. “Services” are any regular work or other significant activity you do for your business.

You can find more information and examples of special payments by reading Special Payments After Retirement. If you want to learn more about the earnings limit, please read How Work Affects Your Benefits.

Got another question about Social Security? On our website, you can find answers to over 200 of  your most frequently asked questions, and much more. Social Security’s online services are here to put control at your fingertips. See what else you can do online at SocialSecurity.gov.

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79 thoughts on “How Special Payments After You Retire Affect Your Social Security Benefit

  1. At what age can I earn monies without affecting the amount of your Social Security benefits? I was born December 1956.

  2. I am reitired from federal government and I will apply for my social security at 61 and 9 months…I turn 62 in February 2019, can I expect my payments to start in April of 2019?

  3. I am thinking of getting social security benefits. I am not quite the age yet, but my body isn’t going to be going for much longer. I appreciated the knowledge that, “If you are younger than full retirement age and make more than the yearly earnings limit, your earnings may reduce the amount of your monthly benefit.” I may need to look into an attorney who can help me know what to do. https://cooklaw.org/salt-lake-city/

  4. Definitely it will affect, but I think special services might be more important due to their pros and cons, while the time is also a key factor.
    I’d analyzed a similar effects in the field of nutrition which you can visit here: https://www.fastmeata.com

  5. I have a Roth IRA account. I am 63 and have started collecting my Social Security. If I decide to take distribution from my Roth IRA, will those monies be counted as income?

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