How You Can Grow Your Social Security Benefits Beyond Retirement Age

November 30, 2017 • By

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Last Updated: November 3, 2023

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

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Ruth E.

    I’m 74 years old and have to work part time to pay for my eye glasses and dental because my personal insurance does not pay for those services. What do I have to do to get coverage from SS, can I reapply to get coverage and increase my SS?

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Ruth, thank you for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details related to Medicare such as what it is, who qualifies and how to apply. We hope this helps.

  2. Dennis B.

    I am 76 years old, retired as CSRS Offset from the government and had my benefits reduced because I am three years short of 35 years substantial income under Social Security..

    My question is if I go back to work, make substantial income and pay Social Security for three years, will Social Security Administration restore my full benefits?

    My question

  3. Rayden

    Hi good day acquaintances what great information this post has 2020

  4. Jackie

    I started receiving spousal benefits in January at my full retirement age. I am still working. I logged into my social security account, but can no longer see my statements – or earnings record. It just shows me the monthly amount I’m receiving off of my husband’s earnings. HOW can I see and follow “my” yearly record???

  5. Alvin S.

    I have 43 years of federal employment which is 8 years over minimum retirement but I am short 3 credits to qualify for social security. Can I use the additional 8 years to qualify ?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Alvin. For more information about credits and how to earn them, check out our publication, How You Earn Credits. For specific questions, please us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. Generally, you will have a shorter wait if you call later in the day. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  6. Gale M.

    How may I make an appointment to talk with social security administrator about working past 70? I live near the Silver Springs SS office

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Gale. You can schedule an appointment with your local office by calling us at 1-800-772-1213 between 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. We hope this helps.

  7. Laura R.

    Can I still get spouse benefits from a previous marriage if I remarry

  8. Charles F.

    If I am approaching my full retirement age, should I still apply for benefits online if I plan on delaying receiving my benefits beyond my full retirement age? I do not want to collect my retirement benefits until age 70.

  9. Brenda E.

    I worked 43 years and PD in but retired at 62 it seems if you continue to pay in to social security your drawing would increase work as a fill in on my old job

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Brenda. Each year we review the records for all working Social Security recipients to see if additional earnings may increase monthly benefits. If your earnings for the prior year are higher than one of the years we used to compute your retirement benefit, we will recalculate your benefit amount. Generally, we will send a letter explaining any increase in your benefit amount. For more information about how work affects your benefits, visit here. Please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. or contact your local office directly for further assistance.

  10. MaryAnn P.

    Hello my name is MaryAnn Robledo,husbands name Felipe Robledo. I retired at 62,born in 1947, and was denied spousal benefits when my husband retired at 70 1/2 in 2012. Husband born 1943,Vietnam Vet, was also not notified of VA special Benefits at time of employment. We went back to Lodi,Ca. office 2 times, for corrections of Benefits to be turned down and away. Staff argued we were not eligible. Is there anyone that can help us in this matter, even though it has been more than 10 yrs of back and forth to no avail.

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