Can I keep taking Social Security if I return to work?
Yes, but it could reduce your benefits.
If you started collecting Social Security and then go back to work, your age and earnings determine whether your Social Security benefits are reduced.
How reductions are calculated
Earning a wage could reduce your benefits if you haven't reached your full or normal retirement age (NRA)—between 66 and 67 for those born in 1943 or later—and you earn more than certain limits.
How it works:
- If you go back to work before the year you reach your NRA, $1 in benefits will be deducted for each $2 you earn above the annual limit (which is $14,640 in 2012).
- In the year you reach your NRA, $1 in benefits will be deducted for each $3 you earn above a higher limit ($38,880 in 2012), but that’s only counting earnings before the month you reach your NRA.
- Starting the month you hit your NRA, your benefits are no longer reduced no matter how much you earn.
Take the next step.
Call 877-673-7970 to schedule your personal retirement consultation.
- Use the Social Security Administration's Retirement Earnings Test Calculator to estimate how much your annual benefits will be reduced.
- See the SSA publication How Work Affects Your Benefits.
Source: "Making the Most of Your Social Security Benefits", by Rande Spiegelman, March 14, 2012.
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