Many seniors who receive social security retirement (SSR) benefits are seriously considering returning to work. The very good news is that for most retirees, a new employment income will not impact their continued receipt of SSR benefits.

For people who have started receiving SSR benefits after reaching their “full retirement age” returning to work will not affect their continued receipt of SSR. At one time, SSR recipients who were younger than 70, and earned in excess of a defined amount, would have their SSR benefits reduced. Luckily, the law changed. Under current law, a SSR beneficiary who starts receiving benefits after reaching the appropriate full retirement age will continue to receive full benefits —with or without returning to work.

Not everyone reaches full retirement at the same age. To check the varying ages, see the chart below. Although most current SSR beneficiaries started receiving full benefits when they reached 65, those born after 1937 have to wait a little bit longer.  People born in 1960 will not be eligible to receive full retirement benefits until they are 67.

Current law allows people to retire when they turn 62. Those who do this will end up receiving monthly benefits at what is called a “permanently reduced rate.” This means that people who retire early receive a smaller payment each month. If they return to work, assuming that they do not earn too much, they will continue to receive the same SSR benefits. In 2014, the earnings limit is $15,480. Should an early retiree return to work and earn more than that amount, social security will start to withhold $1 for every $2 earned.

Here’s an example:  A retiree who started receiving SSR benefits at age 62 returns to work, resulting in an extra $16,000 of yearly wages. Social security will only consider wages that exceed $15,480. Subtracting the $15,480 from $16,000 leaves a countable income of $520. Of that extra $520, social security will take out $1 for every $2 earned. In this example, the retiree’s return to work will result in excess social security benefits of $260.

Even though an early SSR beneficiary who returns to work and earns more than $15,480 will be asked to repay a small portion of the excess earnings, there is no doubt that being able to return to work means having more money to spend.

So – for those of you retirees who are thinking about returning to work — go for it!

More information
To learn more on the impact of returning to work while receiving social security check out the Social Security Administration website at ssa.gov, and in the search box put “10069”.

Many seniors who receive social security retirement (SSR) benefits are seriously considering returning to work. The very good news is that for most retirees, a new employment income will not impact their continued receipt of SSR benefits.

For people who have started receiving SSR benefits after reaching their “full retirement age” returning to work will not affect their continued receipt of SSR. At one time, SSR recipients who were younger than 70, and earned in excess of a defined amount, would have their SSR benefits reduced. Luckily, the law changed. Under current law, a SSR beneficiary who starts receiving benefits after reaching the appropriate full retirement age will continue to receive full benefits —with or without returning to work.

Not everyone reaches full retirement at the same age. To check the varying ages, see the chart below. Although most current SSR beneficiaries started receiving full benefits when they reached 65, those born after 1937 have to wait a little bit longer.  People born in 1960 will not be eligible to receive full retirement benefits until they are 67.

Current law allows people to retire when they turn 62. Those who do this will end up receiving monthly benefits at what is called a “permanently reduced rate.” This means that people who retire early receive a smaller payment each month. If they return to work, assuming that they do not earn too much, they will continue to receive the same SSR benefits. In 2014, the earnings limit is $15,480. Should an early retiree return to work and earn more than that amount, social security will start to withhold $1 for every $2 earned.

Here’s an example:  A retiree who started receiving SSR benefits at age 62 returns to work, resulting in an extra $16,000 of yearly wages. Social security will only consider wages that exceed $15,480. Subtracting the $15,480 from $16,000 leaves a countable income of $520. Of that extra $520, social security will take out $1 for every $2 earned. In this example, the retiree’s return to work will result in excess social security benefits of $260.

Even though an early SSR beneficiary who returns to work and earns more than $15,480 will be asked to repay a small portion of the excess earnings, there is no doubt that being able to return to work means having more money to spend.

So – for those of you retirees who are thinking about returning to work — go for it!

More information
To learn more on the impact of returning to work while receiving social security check out the Social Security Administration website at ssa.gov, and in the search box put “10069”.