Working While Retired

two women smiling and looking at flowersRetirement life is different for everyone. Social Security is here to secure today and tomorrow, whether you sail into the sunset or decide to continue working. Some of our rules allow you to receive Social Security retirement or survivor benefits and work at the same time, as long as you don’t make more than Social Security’s annual earnings limit. For 2017, that limit is $16,920.

If you’re younger than full retirement age and make more than the yearly earnings limit, we’ll reduce your Social Security benefits. But starting with the month you reach full retirement age, we will not reduce your benefits, no matter how much you earn. Our retirement planner explains the requirement and deductions, and what happens after you reach full retirement age.

Two of our online tools can help you find the information you need to make the right decision for you. You can find your full retirement age based on your date of birth by using our Retirement Age Calculator. Our Retirement Earnings Test Calculator can help you find out how much your benefits may be reduced if you are working and haven’t reached your full retirement age.

There are several things to consider if you plan to continue working after you retire. Our website gives you detailed information for the type of employment that you have. It also explains what types of pensions, annuities, and income do not count toward your earnings limits.

Additional earnings after you start collecting benefits might increase your monthly benefit. If there’s an increase, we’ll send you a letter telling you of your new benefit amount. If you think your earnings will be different than what you originally told us, let us know right away. For more information, read How Work Affects Your Benefits or visit our website. No matter what you decide to do with your retirement life, you can count on Social Security.


443 thoughts on “Working While Retired

  1. I am going to be 66 on December 19th, I retired at 62. I want to know how much can my income be for 2020 and how much will I have to pay for going over.

  2. I am going to be 66 on December 19th, I retired at 62. I want to know how much can my income be for 2020 and how much will I have to pay for going over.

  3. If i want to work a little bit what do i need to do as far as my SS check goes especially if I make more than the allotted amount? Does it go on hold until i stop working?

  4. I am 67, full retirement age and not taking SS as I am working. When I start taking SS how much can I earn without a decrease in my benefit?

  5. I am receiving social security disability I talked with one of the officer at the social security office in Jacksonville, Florida . I was given a social security disability thresholds 2020 the substantial gainful activity . I told him the job pays 600 dollars a month. I am a minster and they like to compensate me for visting the hospital the sick and shut in. The company name is Jacksonville Maritime Association International Longshoremen Association, Welfare And Pension Administration , Port Of Jacksonville. 920 A. Phillip Randolph Blvd. Jacksonville, Florida 32206 P 904 354 7258 I need to know can I do this thank you

    • Hi Reginald, thank you for your question. Social Security has special rules that make it possible for people with disabilities receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to work and still receive monthly payments. These are called work incentives.

      For SSDI beneficiaries, there is a Trial Work Period (TWP) and then an Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE). The TWP allows you to test your ability to work for at least 9 months. During this period, you will receive your full disability benefit regardless of how much you earn as long as your work activity is reported and you continue to have a disabling impairment. In 2020, any month in which earnings exceed $910 is considered a month of the 9-month trial work period.

      Once you’ve completed your TWP, you get a 36-month safety net called the EPE. During the EPE, you get benefits for all months your earnings or work activities are below the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) level as long as you continue to have a disabling impairment. Social Security will suspend cash benefits for months earnings are over SGA and start benefits again if earnings fall below the SGA level. In 2020, you are earning SGA if your earnings, after any allowable deductions, are more than $1,260 in a month.

      Check out Social Security’s Red Book for descriptions of the many work incentives.

  6. If you continue to work during retirement age is there a age when reached that you are not penalized and what is that age?

    • Hi Donna. Once you reach your full retirement age, earnings no longer reduce your benefits, no matter how much you earn. Your full retirement age is determined by your year of birth. You can check out our Retirement Planner: Benefits By Year Of Birth to understand why some people have different full retirement ages and what those ages are.

      Also, as long as you continue to work and receive benefits, we will check your record every year to see whether the additional earnings will increase your monthly benefit. If there is an increase, we will send you a letter telling you of your new benefit amount.

      For more details, visit our Getting Benefits While Working web page.

  7. I retired early at 62 and began receiving social security benefits. I returned to work again after full retirement age and I noticed on my pay stubs, my employers withheld social security payments from my wages. Should I receive an increase in my social security payments? I am now 69 years old.

  8. I am 69 and still working, do I still have to pay into social security?
    Will the amount paid into social security off set the take out amount?
    Can I decide if I want to pay into Social Security?

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