Retired and Working Again: Social Security Rules

Article Placeholder Image
By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on April 20, 2011 6:49 AM

One of the pitfalls of the current economic climate is that people who have retired are looking to return to work.

Unfortunately, choosing to return to the workforce isn't as easy as it sounds. Besides the fact that it's difficult for older, more-experienced workers to retain jobs, many of them have to consider the intersection of work and Social Security retirement benefits.

Work and Social Security are not mutually exclusive. If a person receives Social Security retirement benefits, she can still actively work. However, depending on her age and outside income, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will deduct yearly earnings from benefits.

Therefore, if you're receiving Social Security retirement benefits and are considering returning to work, you have a few calculations to make to see if the change is worth it.

How much the SSA deducts from your benefits depends on when you've reached full retirement age. Full retirement age is anywhere from 65 to 67, depending on the year you were born.

If you are below or about to reach full retirement age, the SSA may deduct anywhere from 1/2 to 1/3 of your outside earnings above a certain amount.

Work and Social Security for people who have hit their full retirement age is not a problem. They may work as much as they want without impacting their benefits.

Before you make a decision to leave retirement, be sure to call the SSA and have them explain your options and all rules in detail. Also, if you're receiving a pension, be sure to check with the administrator to see if there are any restrictions on returning to the workforce.

Related Resources: