Which Earnings Test Will Apply For My Husband Next Year?

Jun 26 2017 - 7:42am

My husband filed for benefits this month, June 2017, after turning 62. He will be continuing to work the remainder of the year, making over the exempt limit. He was contacted by SSI and told he would receive one check in December, I am assuming this is the one check allowed the first year you file for retirement. My question is.... If he continues to work up to his limit next year or a little over the limit, will the exempt limit be the 16,920 or the 1,410 monthly limit? I can't find any information about this. Is the 1410 monthly just for the first year you file or every year till you FRA? Thanks for the help!


The special monthly earnings test rule (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/rule.html) can only be used in the first calendar year in which a person is both a) entitled to benefits, and b) earns less than the monthly exempt amount in one or more of the months that they are entitled to benefits.

So, if your husband earns $1410 or less in any months from July to December of this year, 2017 would be the only year in which he could use the monthly test. Otherwise, the monthly test would still be an option for future years until he has a month in which he earns less than the monthly exempt amount.

If your husband isn't planning to earn less than $1410 in December, he can apparently be paid for that month based on the regular calendar year earnings test (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html). He may want to think about running the maximization software available on this website in order to determine if he has better filing options available to him.

Best, Jerry