Can I Start Collecting My Social Security Benefits If I’m Still Working?

Can I Start Collecting My Social Security Benefits If I’m Still Working?

Yes, you can start receiving social security benefits before you actually stop working, and your benefit amount will not be affected if you have attained normal retirement age, or NRA, which is determined based on the year of your birth. NRA is 67 for most people today.

If you start to take benefits while working and before the normal retirement age, your benefit will be reduced. But there are a few caveats to consider if you start to receive the benefits before your normal retirement age.

In the years before you reach your normal retirement age (NRA is determined by a table using the year of your birth), your benefits will be reduced by $1 for every $2 you earn over the limit, which is $15,720 in 2016.

The year in which you will reach your NRA, your benefits in the months leading up to your birth-month will be reduced by $1 for every $3 you make over the limit (which is currently $41,880). Starting the month, you reach your NRA, your benefits will no longer be reduced, regardless of your income.

Two things to consider in addition to the above:  you will still have social security taxes withheld from your income while employed, regardless of age, and your social security benefits are subject to taxation as income over certain amounts which are different depending on how you’re filing.

It is possible that your earnings will be high enough, or will bring your total years of earning income up to the 35 considered, that you will see your benefits increased because of your current contributions. If you have not yet reached Normal Retirement Age, you must also consider that the 2:1 reduction may cause you to not receive any benefits at all in a given year. Only employment income is considered for this reduction calculation.

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