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Social Security Administration Retirement Benefits

How We Deduct Earnings From Benefits

OPM Virtual Benefits Training – Social Security Understanding Retirement Benefits 2021

In 2022, if youre under full retirement age, the annual earnings limit is $19,560. If you will reach full retirement age in 2022, the limit on your earnings for the months before full retirement age is $51,960.

Starting with the month you reach full retirement age, there is no limit on how much you can earn and still receive your benefits.

Let’s look at a few examples. You are receiving Social Security retirement benefits every month in 2022 and you:

  • Are under full retirement age all year. You are entitled to $800 a month in benefits.

    You work and earn $29,560 during the year. Your Social Security benefits would be reduced by $5,000 . You would receive $4,600 of your $9,600 in benefits for the year.

  • Reach full retirement age in August 2022. You are entitled to $800 per month in benefits.

    You work and earn $63,000 during the year, with $52,638 of it in the 7 months from January through July.

    • Your Social Security benefits would be reduced through July by $226 . You would still receive $5,374 out of your $5,600 benefits for the first 7 months.
    • Beginning in August 2022, when you reach full retirement age, you would receive your full benefit , no matter how much you earn.

If you are eligible for retirement benefits this year and are still working, you can use our earnings test calculator to see how your earnings could affect your benefit payments.

Social Security Benefits For Federal Workers

The federal government has special retirement programs for its employees. How this affects your Social Security benefit amount depends on when you worked for the federal government.

If you worked for the federal government in 1983 or earlier, you did not pay Social Security taxes on your earnings, and your Social Security earnings record will not show those earnings. This is because the Civil Service Retirement System not Social Securityprovided retirement benefits for federal workers at the time.

A newer program called the Federal Employees Retirement System replaced CSRS. Workers who participate in FERS are eligible for Social Security.

you are covered under the Medicare program

Your CSRS pension could affect your Social Security benefit amount if you:

How Do Benefits Work And How Can I Qualify

While you work, you pay Social Security taxes. This tax money goes into a trust fund that pays benefits to:

  • Those who are currently retired

  • People with disabilities

  • The surviving spouses and children of workers who have died

Each year you work, youll get credits to help you become eligible for benefits when its time for you to retire. Find all the benefits the Social Security Administration offers.

There are four main types of benefits that the SSA offers:

  • Learn about earning limits if you plan to work while receiving Social Security benefits

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How Will It Work

The ORPP will be a supplement, and very similar in design, tothe existing CPP. When fully phased in, it will require equalcontributions from employees and employers . This compares to thecurrent CPP regime which requires employer and employeecontributions of 4.95 percent each . The biggestdifference between the ORPP and the CPP is that CPP contributionscurrently max out at an income level of $54,900 , whereasthe ORPP will max out at an income level of $90,000, subject toindexation for inflation.

For both the CPP and ORPP, the basic exemption amount is set at$3,500 .

ORPP contributions will be phased in. For large employers with500 or more employees, contributions will start January 1, 2017,and will be increased each year until 2019. For medium-sizedemployers, contributions will begin January 1, 2018, withcontributions phased in to their maximum by 2020. Small employerswith fewer than 50 workers will start contributing on January 1,2019, with contributions phased in to their maximum by 2021. Othersemployers will start to make contributions on January 1, 2020.These phase-in rules are summarized in the table below.

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If you are eligible for Social Security or Supplemental Security Income Benefits, we want to make sure you get them on time and in the right amount. After we decide your benefit eligibility, we will either stop your benefits or change the amount, and we will send you a letter explaining our decision. If you disagree with our decision, you have the right to appeal it. When you ask for an appeal, Social Security may review the entire decision, including those parts which were favorable to you.

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You Could Get A Bigger Benefit Check Later On

If you are subject to the earnings penalty, your benefit will be recalculated later on, and that could mean a bigger monthly check.

Take someone who has a $2,000 Social Security check, who went back to work and earned $40,000. Based on the earnings penalty, they may not get a Social Security check for the first five months of the year, according to Elsasser, but in the remaining months, they would receive their $2,000 benefit.

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Once that worker reaches full retirement age, the SSA counts up the months they did not receive benefit checks due to the earnings penalty. Then, it will adjust the worker’s benefits as if they had claimed later to account for that time.

Ultimately, their benefits are increased as if they had delayed benefits, Elsasser said.

“That’s the important thing to remember: It’s not a tax,” Elsasser said of the earnings penalty. “Benefits are not lost your benefit is recalculated when you reach full retirement age.”

Your Benefits May Be Reduced Temporarily

If you are over your full retirement age, there is no earnings penalty if you return to work.

“They can make as much as they want and be able to collect Social Security checks,” Elsasser said.

Full retirement age is 66 to 67, depending on your year of birth. The Social Security Administration’s retirement age calculator can help you find out the age at which you will reach eligibility for full benefits.

“In the calendar year you reach full retirement age, you really have a lot more flexibility for working and having earned income, and the penalty is less, too,” Elsasser said.

Even though benefits are reduced for the earnings penalty, those who return to work still stand to make more in the short term, as well as later on when their benefits are increased.

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Report The Death Of A Social Security Or Medicare Beneficiary

You must report the death of a family member receiving Social Security or Medicare benefits. The Social Security Administration processes death reports for both. Find out how you can report a death and how to cancel benefit payments. In addition to canceling SSA and Medicare benefits, find out what other benefits and accounts you should cancel.

Why Did The Full Retirement Age Change

Suze Orman for SSA: Start Planning

Full retirement age, also called “normal retirement age,” was 65 for many years. In 1983, Congress passed a law to gradually raise the age because people are living longer and are generally healthier in older age.

The law raised the full retirement age beginning with people born in 1938 or later. The retirement age gradually increases by a few months for every birth year, until it reaches 67 for people born in 1960 and later.

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Should I Apply For Medicare

Remember, Medicare usually starts when you reach age 65.

If you decide to delay starting your benefits past age 65, be sure to go online and file for Medicare.

You will need to apply for Original Medicare three months before you turn age 65. If you dont sign up for Medicare Part B when youre first eligible at age 65, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Medicare coverage.

Even if you have health insurance through a current or former employer or as part of your severance package, you should contact them to find out if you need to sign up for Medicare. Some health insurance plans change automatically at age 65.

Please read the general and special enrollment period information in our Medicare booklet to find out what may happen if you delay.

When you start receiving Social Security retirement benefits, some members of your family also qualify to receive benefits on your record.

If they qualify, your spouse or child may receive a monthly payment of up to one-half of your full retirement benefit amount. These payments will not decrease your retirement benefit.

Verify Your Earnings Record

If you haven’t already done so, create a my Social Security account at the SSA website. After doing so, you’ll be able to see the SSA’s record of your earnings, year by year — as well as its estimates of your future benefits. Take some time to verify those earnings, because if there’s a mistake, it could result in smaller benefits than you’re entitled to. Have any errors corrected.

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B You Can Stop Working And Start Receiving Your Retirement Benefits

If you make the decision to stop working and start receiving retirement benefits before your full retirement age, your benefits are reduced a fraction of a percent for each month before your full retirement age. Also, your benefits will not increase because of additional earnings.

We calculate your benefits based on your highest 35 years of earnings, and if you stop working before you have attained 35 years of earnings or you have years with low earnings, this will affect your benefit calculation.

If you delay your benefits until after full retirement age, you will be eligible for delayed retirement credits that would increase your benefit.

If you stop working and start receiving retirement benefits before age 65, you are automatically enrolled in Original Medicare when you turn 65. If you are not receiving your Social Security benefits when you turn 65, you will need to apply for Medicare benefits three months before you turn 65. If you dont sign up for Medicare Part B when youre first eligible, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Medicare coverage.

Claim Survivor Or Disability Benefits

Social Security Resources

Finally, know that Social Security doesn’t just offer retirement benefits. If your spouse has passed away, you may be eligible for survivor benefits. And if you’re disabled, it’s possible that you might qualify for disability benefits. It’s well worth looking into these if you think you might qualify.

These can be powerful ways to beef up your future Social Security benefits, so look into any of these strategies that might work for you. The more you know about Social Security, and the smarter moves you make, the more income you may be able to get out of the program.

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How To Get A Social Security Card

  • Gather your documents. Learn what documents you’ll need to get a card. Select your situation:
  • Original, replacement, or corrected card
  • U.S. born citizen, foreign-born U.S. citizen, or noncitizen
  • Apply online for a replacement card. Apply online if youre not changing anything on your card and you are eligible. This option is available in most states. You will need to make a my Social Security account first. Or complete an application. If you can not apply online, fill out an application and return it to the SSA. Find out where to take it in person or mail it.
  • Get Personalized Retirement Benefit Estimates

    Choosing when to retire is an important and personal decision. The best way to start planning for your future is by creating a mySocial Security account. With your personal mySocial Security account, you can verify your earnings, and use our Retirement Calculator to get an estimate of your retirement benefits.

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    Benefits For Your Divorced Spouse

    If you are divorced, your ex-spouse can receive benefits based on your record if:

    • Your marriage lasted 10 years or longer.
    • Your ex-spouse is unmarried.
    • Your ex-spouse is age 62 or older.
    • The benefit that your ex-spouse is entitled to receive based on their own work is less than the benefit they would receive based on your work.
    • You are entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits.

    If You Were Born Between 1960 Your Full Retirement Age Is 67

    Social Security Benefits Increase in 2023

    You can start your Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62, but the benefit amount you receive will be less than your full retirement benefit amount.

    The chart below provides examples of the percentage of your full retirement benefit amount you and your spouse would receive from age 62 up to your full retirement age.

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    How Much Will Your Divorced Spouse Receive

    If you have not applied for retirement benefits, but can qualify for them, your ex-spouse can receive benefits on your record if you have been divorced for at least two continuous years.

    If your ex-spouse is eligible for retirement benefits on their own record, we will pay that amount first. If the benefit on your record is higher, they will get an additional amount on your record so that the combination of benefits equals that higher amount.

    If your ex-spouse was born before January 2, 1954, and has already reached full retirement age, they can choose to receive only the divorced spouses benefit and delay receiving their own retirement benefit until a later date.

    If your ex-spouses birthday is January 2, 1954 or later, the option to take only one benefit at full retirement age no longer exists. If your ex-spouse files for one benefit, they will be effectively filing for all retirement or spousal benefits.

    Your Options: Working Applying For Retirement Benefits Or Both

    Choosing when to start receiving your Social Security retirement benefits is an important decision. Theres no one choice that works for everyone because your lifestyle, finances, and goals are not the same as others.

    Do you want to retire early, stay on the job, or work beyond retirement age?

    Should you start receiving retirement benefits now, or wait until you can receive a higher benefit amount?

    These are important questions youll need to answer as you plan for your retirement. Consider the four options below to help you make the best decision.

    Continue Working

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    A You Can Continue Working And Start Receiving Your Retirement Benefits

    If you start your benefits before your full retirement age, your benefits are reduced a fraction of a percent for each month before your full retirement age.

    You can get Social Security retirement benefits and work at the same time before your full retirement age. However your benefits will be reduced if you earn more than the yearly earnings limits.

    After you reach your full retirement age, we will recalculate your benefit amount to give you credit for any months you did not receive a benefit because of your earnings. We will send you a letter that explains any increase in your benefit amount.

    If you delay filing for your benefits until after full retirement age, you will be eligible for delayed retirement credits that would increase your monthly benefit. If you also continue to work, you will be able to receive your full retirement benefits and any increase resulting from your additional earnings when we recalculate your benefits. Once you reach full retirement age, your earnings do not affect your benefit amount.

    If you start receiving retirement benefits before age 65, you are automatically enrolled in Original Medicare when you turn 65. If you or your spouse are still working and covered under an employer-provided group health plan, talk to the personnel office before signing up for Medicare Part B. To learn more, read our Medicare publication.

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    Benefits will be indexed to increases in wages and the cost ofliving, and will start to be paid in 2022. Benefits will generallystart at age 65 however, similar to the CPP, individuals will havethe option to receive adjusted retirement income as early as 60 oras late as 70.

    Note: The ORPP cannot cover self-employed workers because thefederal Income Tax Act does not allow self-employed people toparticipate in a registered pension plan. Ontario has asked thefederal government to consider changing the Act to allowself-employed workers to join the ORPP.

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    The Majority Are Undecided

    A third of Americans are undecided when it comes to the COLA increase. That makes sense considering how many people dont receive Social Security benefits. Those that are directly affected or soon to be affected by it are more invested in any and all changes to Social Security. As a matter of fact, those aged 65 and older had the highest percentage of people that feel the COLA hike is not nearly enough and shouldve been much larger. And those aged 18 to 24 had the highest percentage of people that said they were undecided at 43%.

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    Across all generations, 21% of people said they feel like the increase is fair and will provide a necessary financial boost to Social Security recipients. Another 21% think its nice but shouldve been a little higher. 17% think the increase isnt nearly enough and should be much higher. And the final 11% feel that the hike is too much. As you can see from these results, there isnt much consensus in opinions on the COLA increase.

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