Ask Larry

How Would Work Affect My Benefit Rate?

I'm 70 years old and receiving social security but find I need additional money. I plan to work part time and my earnings will be a lot lower then my last few years of work. I only have 32 years of works so I guess any add'l years will be counted as part of the 35 years to average. Will my benefits be reduced.

Hi,

You couldn't reduce your benefit rate by working. Social Security retirement benefits are based on an average of a person's highest 35 years of wage-adjusted earnings (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10070.pdf). If you only had 32 years of earnings, 3 zero earnings years are currently being used in the yearly earnings average on which your present benefit is based. If you replace one or more of those zero earnings years with even part-time work and earnings, it should raise your benefit rate at least somewhat.

Best, Jerry

Posted: 
May 9 2017 - 8:06am
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