Ask Larry

Will My Benefit Decrease If I Decide To Stop Working?

I started getting SS at age 62. I received a statement from SS that said in order for me to continue to receive my current benefit that I should continue to work and make a certain amount of money each year. This just didn't sound right to me. I worked for the state of Missouri for 30.5 years and have been at my current part time job for 12 years. Will my benefit decrease if I decide to quit working? Thanks,Terry

Hi Terry. No. Social Security retirement benefits are based on an average of a person's highest 35 years of Social Security covered wage-indexed earnings. Stopping work couldn't lower the earnings average on which your current benefit rate is based, so your benefit rate won't go down if you stop working.

The only thing that stopping work would mean is that you couldn't then potentially increase your benefit rate by replacing one of your past years of earnings with a higher earnings year. If you don't have any future earnings, though, then your benefit rate will simply stay the same, not go down.

Best, Jerry

Jan 18 2022 - 3:26pm
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