When Will My Benefit Rate Be Recalculated To Give Me Credit For The Months That My Benefits Were Suspended?

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Oct 19 2017 - 6:43am

I had to start my retirement benefits @ 62 (2015) due to being unemployed for many months prior to my birthday, which is in May. Latter that year I was fortunate to become reemployed and continue to receive benefits for remainder of the year (2015). For 2016 and present year (2017), my benefits are suspended due to earnings test and also anticipate same for next year, 2018. In January of 2019, my 66th birthday year, I'm assuming my checks will start back up based on the 1/3 earnings test and receive partial payments (based on $60,000 annual income). I realize that the current earnings caculations (35 yr avg) comes into play for minor recaclulations but when / how does the recalculation happen for those 3 whole years of non-payments? I was told at 67? Does that also mean for the whole 12 months I'm 66 I'm still receiving the lower calculate 62 yr old payment that was $1588 (plus COLA and minor yearly adjustments)? I also plan on continue to work till 70. I didn't repay the collected money in a year, so my checks will come if I want them or not staring in Jan 2019. Hopefully @ 67 should my payment be close to what mt FRA amount would have been @ 66?
Thank you ...

Hi,

The adjustment you're referring to is called a reduction factor adjustment (ARF). Social Security processes ARF calculations on an automated schedule, which typically occurs within 12 to 18 months after the person reaches full retirement age (FRA). The effective date of the recalculation is the month that the person turned FRA, though, so you should receive some back pay when the process is completed. Your FRA is age 66, so you ARF adjustment should be processed sometime after you turn age 67.

By the way, even though you started your benefits prior to FRA you still have the option of voluntarily suspending your benefits at FRA or later in order to earn delayed retirement credits (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/delayret.html). That would boost your benefit rate by an additional 2/3rds of 1% for each month of suspension, or 8% per year, between FRA and age 70.

Best, Jerry