Retirement

How You Can Grow Your Social Security Benefits Beyond Retirement Age

November 30, 2017 • By

Last Updated: August 2, 2021

man and woman outside on laptop For more and more Americans, reaching retirement age no longer means the end of an active working life. Many people are choosing to work past the age of 65, according to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If you’re willing and able, maintaining gainful employment later in life could go a long way toward ensuring a secure future for you and your family. Besides providing you with additional income to pay your bills, extending your employment or working for yourself could boost your lifetime Social Security benefits.

Here’s how:

Whether you’re still working or not, waiting to claim your Social Security retirement benefits could grow them significantly. Through delayed retirement credits, your monthly benefit amount increases for each year you wait between your full retirement age and 70. Full retirement age is between 65 and 67, depending on when you were born. To learn more about delayed retirement credits, please visit our Retirement Benefits page.

You get credits on your earnings record for each year of additional work income. Once you start receiving retirement benefits, we’ll automatically review your earnings record each year to determine if you’re entitled to an adjustment. When we calculate your retirement benefit amount, we use your best 35 years of earnings. We’ll increase your benefit amount if your new year of earnings is higher than one of the years we used to calculate your initial benefit amount. To see how we calculate your benefits, see our publication, Your Retirement Benefit: How It’s Figured.

An increased benefit amount for yourself could mean more support for your family, too, through Social Security spousal benefits, child benefits, and survivor benefits.

We also encourage you to set up your own online my Social Security account so you can verify your lifetime earnings record, check the status of an application for benefits, and manage them after you’re receiving them. You can create your personal my Social Security account today.

Social Security is committed to helping you prepare for a secure today and tomorrow for you, your family, and future family. You can access all of our retirement resources on our Retirement Benefits page.


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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Comments

  1. Michelle B.

    Many people are “choosing” to work past 65 is an incorrect statement. Many people are being forced to work past 65 because they either didn’t plan for their retirement or had extenuating circumstances like health issues that didn’t allow them to save for it.

    • Darrel B.

      I AGREE WITH YOU MICHELLE.

    • Debra S.

      Exactly!

  2. Kathleen L.

    How about a link to the Change my Address form? I can’t find it.

  3. Chuck H.

    Keep doing the great job

  4. CARLOS F.

    I AM 66 YEARS TODAY ON MY BIRTHDAY.
    GIVE LOVE…GIVE ME LIGHT…GIVE ME PEACE ON THE VERY DIFICULTY MOMENT IN MY LIFE…I’VE GOT A LIVER ‘S CANCER…ON UNDER TREATMENT…I HOPE GOD BLESSING ME I WILL SURVIVE IN MY STRUGGLING TO SURVIVE…GOD IS LIGHT…CARLOS F.

    • Ray F.

      Happy Birthday, Carlos!

  5. Shirley S.

    I am a present SS Is it possible to get additional funds?

    • Ray F.

      Hi Shirley. To see if you are eligible to receive social services, cash assistance or other benefits from the state in which you live, contact your local social services office. Or you can visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) web page for more information.

  6. Hospitals &.

    TO END POVERTY BY 2020

    A BILL

    (a) To amend the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour 2009-2017 to ‘$7.50 in 2018 and 3% more every year thereafter.’ under 29USC§206(a)(1)(D).
    (b) To provide 14 weeks of (unemployment compensation) paid Maternity Protection under ILO Convention 183 (2000).
    (c) To amend the 1.8% DI tax rate starting January 1, 2019 in Sec. 201(b)(1)(T) of the Social Security Act under 42USC§401(b)(1)(T) to either;
    (c-1) 2.1% DI tax, or (c-2) 2.0% DI tax if OASI pays $240 billion including 2.5% interest in assets for CY09-CY15 to replicate to the extent possible revenue that would have been received if the OASDI tax had been properly adjusted by Public Law 112-96.
    (d) To replace the Adjustment of the contribution and benefit base under Section 230 of the Social Security Act 42USC§430 with ‘There is created in the Treasury a Supplemental Security Income Trust Fund.’ (d-1) To tax the rich the full 12.4% Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Federal Income Contribution Act (FICA) on all their income to pay 16-24 million children growing up poor SSI benefits CY18 and end poverty by 2020.
    (e) To end benefit attrition with a 3% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) rule every year inflation continues to run about 2.7% and the Trust Fund Ratio is greater than 20% under Sec. 215(i) of the Social Security Act 42USC§415(i). To make an exception to the rule to pay $777 mo. SSI a 5.7% COLA is needed from CY17, a 2.7% COLA CY18 followed by 3% COLA to $777 SSI CY19 and 3% COLA every year thereafter.
    (f) To create in the Treasury a United Nations Trust Fund.

    Be it enacted in the House and Senate Assembled

    Federal Budget Surplus http://www.title24uscode.org/hw.pdf

  7. Hospitals &.

    A BILL TO END POVERTY BY 2020

    (a) To amend the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour 2009-2017 to ‘$7.50 in 2018 and 3% more every year thereafter.’ under 29USC§206(a)(1)(D).
    (b) To provide 14 weeks of (unemployment compensation) paid Maternity Protection under ILO Convention 183 (2000).
    (c) To amend the 1.8% DI tax rate starting January 1, 2019 in Sec. 201(b)(1)(T) of the Social Security Act under 42USC§401(b)(1)(T) to either;
    (c-1) 2.1% DI tax, or (c-2) 2.0% DI tax if OASI pays $240 billion including 2.5% interest in assets for CY09-CY15 to replicate to the extent possible revenue that would have been received if the OASDI tax had been properly adjusted by Public Law 112-96.
    (d) To replace the Adjustment of the contribution and benefit base under Section 230 of the Social Security Act 42USC§430 with ‘There is created in the Treasury a Supplemental Security Income Trust Fund.’ (d-1) To tax the rich the full 12.4% Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Federal Income Contribution Act (FICA) on all their income to pay 16-24 million children growing up poor SSI benefits CY18 and end poverty by 2020.
    (e) To end benefit attrition with a 3% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) rule every year inflation continues to run about 2.7% and the Trust Fund Ratio is greater than 20% under Sec. 215(i) of the Social Security Act 42USC§415(i). To make an exception to the rule to pay $777 mo. SSI a 5.7% COLA is needed from CY17, a 2.7% COLA CY18 followed by 3% COLA to $777 SSI CY19 and 3% COLA every year thereafter.
    (f) To create in the Treasury a United Nations Trust Fund.

    Be it enacted in the House and Senate Assembled

  8. Gennady

    I very want for you give me more 200 dollar hard to live this money wife divorse me I no working hard to walking bad balance on my MS please understend me sorry for my stuped qvestion thank you for for caring!!!

    • Ray F.

      Individuals receiving disability benefits may also be eligible to receive social services from the state in which they live. These services include Medicaid, cash assistance, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office. Or you can visit the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) web page for more information. We hope this helps!

  9. william t.

    Support having tax rules for taxable social security benefits revised and indexed as is case of standard deductions, personal exemptions. thank you

    can not live on 1 % interest with living costs 3 to4 %.

  10. Karen B.

    I want to work as long as I can, since I’m single and don’t have a lot of 401k savings for my age (58), but my company has a mandatory retirement age of 70. I make good money and am afraid I won’t be able to find a comparable job after I retired from this company, so I’m relieved to see that my best 35 years’ of earnings are used, I didn’t know that. Thank you for these informative posts!

    Karen B.

    • Ray F.

      We are glad we can help, Karen. Keep in mind that many of our services are conveniently available anytime at our website. We encourage our customers to create a my Social Security account. With a personal my Social Security account, you can get estimates of your retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, review your earnings record and much more.
      We will continue our efforts to meet your requirements and expectations in the years to come. We appreciate your feedback!

      • Eileen W.

        I hope Karen doesn’t think what you said about using higher earnings to figure her SS payment means that she will be getting anything near what she is earning. SS payments are lower than what your earning and will only marginally support an individual. Definitely do not be expecting to be able to afford to let paper by the end of the month.

Comments are closed.