Weekend Reading: 7 Things to Know About Working While Getting Social Security

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading working while getting social security Weekend reading working while getting social security
Weekend Reading

If you’re planning to work beyond age 62 and/or past your full retirement age (FRA) while simultaneously receiving Social Security benefits, there are important considerations to be aware of.


The Social Security Earnings Test: If you claim Social Security benefits before reaching full retirement age, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may temporarily withhold a portion of your monthly payment if your work income exceeds a certain threshold ($22,320 for 2024). The policy has evolved over the years, but the basic idea remains the same: You receive your full benefit when the SSA considers you “fully retired”. Beyond this, several other factors to be aware of include:

📌 Income sources: Not all forms of income count toward the earnings test. The SSA does not count other income sources such as pensions, annuities and investment income.

📌 Application to various benefit types: The earnings test also applies to Social Security spousal or survivor benefits, with the same income threshold and withholding rules.

📌 Reporting earnings: If subject to the earnings test, you should inform the SSA about your expected income for the coming year. They will adjust your payments and reconcile any over- or underpayments later.

📌 Changes near full retirement age: In the year you reach FRA, the limit becomes higher, and at FRA, it disappears altogether.

📌 Potential benefit increase: Continuing to work can increase your Social Security benefit by displacing lower-earning years from your top 35, which are used to calculate your benefit amount.

If you want to work in retirement, there should be nothing holding you back; certainly not Social Security.