Social Security Benefits – continued

When should you retire? What are your options?

social security benefits (to first page)

Topics - continued

Can you increase your Social Security benefits?
Can you receive benefits if you continue to work?
Will your benefits be reduced if you continue to work?
Where can you get more information online?
Questions from our visitors

Increase your benefits. You don't have to begin receiving Social Security benefits when you reach Full Retirement Age (see above). If you delay, they will be increased for each month of your delay between your Full Retirement Age and age 70. The table below shows how much they'll increase for each full year of your delay.

Year of Birth Yearly Increase
1937 – 1938 6.5%
1939 – 1940 7.0%
1941 – 1942 7.5%
1943 or later 8.0%
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Continue working. If you continue working after your Full Retirement Age, Social Security will review your record each year to see if your additional earnings will increase your monthly benefit. If so, they'll send you a notice of your new benefit amount, and if you're already receiving benefits, they'll be increased.

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Benefit reductions. Any income you earn during or after the month you reach Full Retirement Age will NOT reduce your Social Security benefits, no matter how much you earn. (This change took effect January 1, 2000.)

If you start your Social Security benefits before your Full Retirement Age:

Notes: The $14,160 and $37,680 limits apply to year 2009; the limits are adjusted for inflation each year. Earned income includes wages and net earnings from self-employment, as reported on Schedule C or Schedule SE. Pensions, 401k distributions, IRA distributions, dividends, interest, other investment income, capital gains, annuities, inheritance payments and other government benefits are examples of non-work income that are not counted and will not affect your Social Security benefits.

We suggest these online publications: Retirement Benefits (Publication No. 05-10035) and How Work Affects Your Benefits (Publication No.05-10069).

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For more information, visit our page, Questions from our visitors.