It is possible to work and receive retirement or survivors benefits from Social Security. Working affects each of these benefit programs in different ways.
Working affects retirement and survivors benefits in the same way. You can work and receive benefits under these programs. Your age at the time you are receiving benefits determines how working affects the amount of benefits you receive.
- Born between January 2, 1943 and January 2, 1955 – Your retirement age is 66. If you work at full retirement age or older, you can make any amount of money without affecting the amount of retirement or survivor’s benefits you receive.
- If you are younger than 66 in 2009, you can earn $14,160 before Social Security begins to reduce your benefits. Social Security will deduct $1 (from your retirement or survivor’s benefits) for every $2 you earn above $14,160.
- There is a special rule that applies if you retire at age 66 because of employment income, you may have received before retirement and if you take a part-time job that pays less in that same year.
If you are one of the lucky few who have managed to weather the current financial crisis without losing significant value from your retirement funds, this is not an issue. However if you need the addition income to make up for loses or you just enjoy working, it is important to know what the rules are to prevent getting an overpayment. Social Security will seek to recoup an overpayment if that happens.
You should keep accurate records of the income you receive in the event that Social Security should determine that you have been overpaid. Remember any action by Social Security can be appealed.
The amount of money you can earn without triggering any penalties changes every year. You can get information about this by going to www.ssa.gov or contacting the Social Security Administration by phone at 1-800-772-1213.
Byrd : Garrett, PLLC is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.