Each year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announces changes to retiree benefits in the month of October, which will apply to the following year. One of these changes, which is required by law, includes the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA). As we wait for the SSA announcement, it is also very important not to lose sight of the Social Security benefit provisions that are currently in place. The focus of this article will concentrate on those individuals who are both working and receiving Social Security benefits in 2023.
What is the impact of working and receiving Social Security benefits?
For many individuals, it is quite common to be working and receiving Social Security benefits at the same time. It is important to understand how your benefits might be impacted.
If you are younger than full retirement age and earn more than the yearly earnings limit, the SSA will reduce your benefit until the month that you reach full retirement age. If you are under 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, which is $21,240 for 2023.
If you reach full retirement age in 2023, the SSA deducts $1 in benefits for every $3 that you earn above $56,520; but SSA will only count earnings before the month you reach your full retirement age. In the month you reach full retirement age, you can get your benefits with no limit on your earnings.
What counts as earnings when SSA reduces your benefits?
The SSA defines earnings as the wages that you earn from your job, self-employed net earnings, bonuses, commissions and vacation pay. The SSA does not count annuities, pensions, investment income, veteran benefits or government and military retirement benefits.
Other SSA Resources
- SSA Retirement Age Calculator to find your full retirement age based on your date of birth. Visit https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/ageincrease.html
- SSA Retirement Earnings Test Calculator to find out how much your benefits will be reduced. Visit https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/RTeffect.html.
If you need to report a change in your earnings after you begin receiving benefits, you must call the SSA as you cannot report a change of earnings online. The SSA can be contacted at 1-800-772-1213 or you can contact your local Social Security office.