Working While Retired

September 21, 2017 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: October 5, 2021

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 2021, that limit is $18,960.

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 Portal 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 our publication, 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.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Clifford R.

    I am a federal government retiree with 40 years of service which includes military and civilian service. Also, I have 12 years of service contributing to social security. I live in Texas which is a Windfall Elimination Provision state. What is the maximum WEP reduction if I am currently due to get $1040 a month in retirement starting in March 2021?

    • Vonda

      Hi Clifford, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Windfall Elimination Provision WEP chart for the maximum monthly amount your benefit may be reduced. We hope this helps!

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