Can I Start Drawing My Benefits At FRA And Delay Taking Part B Of Medicare Until I Retire?

May 6 2019 - 7:57pm

I will reach my FRA on 06/22/2019 (single, no dependents), but I plan to continue full time employment until 12/31/2019-Lord willing. I will receive an annuity of $468/month at retirement from my job (no windfall issue here). I receive medical insurance through my employer and I signed up for Part A of Medicare when I turned 65 in 2018. My salary is $50K/year. My question is: can I request my Social Security at my FRA, continue my full time job until 12/31/2019 (specifically for the medical benefits) and not begin Medicare Part B until 01/01/2020? Are there any down sides to this? While employed, FICA and federal taxes will be taken out. How will this affect the amount of Social Security I receive after i retire in June? My living situation is that I need the extra income now to pay for deductibles on a couple of medical procedures and the extra money from my SS retirement will pay for these.


Yes, you can start drawing your benefits effective with the month that you reach your full retirement age (FRA) regardless of how much you earn. And, you can defer starting your Medicare Part B coverage without penalty until you retire as long as your health insurance coverage through your work would be your primary coverage. Your employer's group health insurance would be your primary coverage as long as you're still an active employee and there are at least 20 employees covered under the plan.

The potential downside of starting your benefits at FRA instead of age 70 is that you will then receive a lower monthly benefit rate for as long as you live. If you waited until age 70 to start drawing, your benefits your monthly rate would be 32% higher than it will be if you start drawing at FRA.

If you do decide to start drawing your benefits this year and your 2019 earnings are higher than one of your previous highest 35 years of wage-indexed earnings, your benefit rate could be recalculated effective with your payment for January 2020. Before deciding when to start drawing your benefits, you should strongly consider using our software to make sure that you choose the best possible filing strategy.

Best, Jerry