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Does working after one’s full retirement age increase Social Security benefits?

Retirement ages vary by birth year but to receive your maximum benefit, you may need to work until age seventy. What are delayed retirement credits?

Retirement ages vary by birth year but to receive your maximum benefit, you may need to work until age seventy. What are delayed retirement credits?

The age at which a worker can retire and receive their maximum Social Security benefit amount depends on the year they were born. At sixty-two, Social Security benefits can be claimed, but it is not until almost a decade later that the maximum benefit becomes available.

Full Retirement Age

  • 1943-1954: 66
  • 1955: 66 and 2 months
  • 1956: 66 and 4 months
  • 1957: 66 and 6 months
  • 1958: 66 and 8 months
  • 1959: 66 and 10 months
  • 1960 - Current: 67

In 2022, the maximum one can claim in benefits at sixty-two is $2,364. At sixty-six, this number increases to $3,345. However, the greatest benefits are available to those who wait until seventy and receive $4,194.

Starting at one’s full retirement age, those who wait to end their career at seventy, will receive delayed retirement credit for each month they did not withdraw from the workforce. After your seventieth birthday, no more credits will be allocated and your maximum benefit amount will remain unchanged.

There are many reasons a worker may delay retirement, but once one is seventy, there is no way to further increase one’s benefit amount. This does not mean you cannot work, just that those annual earnings will not impact the benefit the Social Security Administration distributes to you upon retirement.

Why was the retirement age pushed back?

To protect the solvency of the Social Security benefit structure, the federal government began to delay retirement for certain age groups. For that reason, the full retirement age varies widely for those born between 1943 and 1960. Sadly, while the program may be able to distribute benefits to more people, the amount has lost significant purchasing power since 2000.

The Senior Citizens League, an organization that advocates for seniors, has reported that since the beginning of this century, around forty percent of the buying power from Social Security benefits has been lost.

Retirees know all too well that, Social Security benefits don’t buy as much today, as when they first retired,” said Mary Johnson, a Social Security policy analyst for the organization.

“To put it in context, for every $100 of goods or services that retirees bought in 2000, today they would only be able to buy $60 worth.”

Working while you receive benefits: how much will be subtracted?

It is possible for seniors to work and receive a part of their Social Security benefits.

Those who retire in the middle of the year may find that their annual incomes exceed the Social Security income limits, however, the Social Security Administration “cannot withhold benefits for any month we consider you retired, regardless of your yearly earnings.”

Which sectors have the highest levels of senior workers?

In 2019, there were more than ten million people over the age of sixty-five in the workforce, representing around six percent of all workforce participation. Around four million work within the management, business, and financial operations sector, with the most common jobs being ‘chief executives.’

The second and third most common sectors for seniors were ‘Sales and office occupations’ and ‘service occupations.’


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