Retirement Planning

Collecting Social Security While Working

There are a lot of benefits to working during retirement. But factors such as your age or how much you earn could impact your Social Security. Learn more in this overview.

Working After Retirement: Can I Still My Collect Social Security?

There are many reasons why you may want to work part-time while in retirement. For example, perhaps you need to supplement your income, save for that long awaited vacation, or maybe you simply enjoy being part of the workforce a few hours out of the week. However, if you plan on working after retirement, you'll need to know how this additional income may affect your Social Security benefits.

Working and collecting Social Security

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), if you're younger than full retirement age, working for an employer, and are earning additional income that exceeds the yearly earnings limit (as set by the SSA), your benefits may be reduced.1 However, beginning with the first month you reach full retirement age, you may earn as much as you like without a reduction of your benefits. To determine when you would reach your full retirement age, use the SSA's online calculator.

Here's how it works:

If you plan on working in retirement and are under your full retirement age for the entire year, the SSA will deduct $1 from your benefit payments for every $2 that you earn above the annual limit. The limit for 2015 is set at $15,720. However, if you wait until the last year before reaching your full retirement age to work, the earning limit rises to $41,880 in 2015, and the SSA will deduct $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn above the set limit.2

It's important to note that if you are self-employed, the SSA will consider your gross wages before withholding taxes and net earnings from your income. In addition, earnings from your annuities, pensions, and retirement plan income are typically not included, as well as interest earnings and profits from other investments that you may have.


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All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

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Working after Retirement

Do you plan on working after retirement? If so, you need to understand that there are certain guidelines and limits that are set by the Social Security Administration that could affect your benefits. Even working part-time or working for yourself while in retirement may result in a reduction of your Social Security Benefits. Get the facts about working in retirement by visiting the SSA website for up to date limits. For more information, visit the Protective learning center.