Ask Larry

Will Social Security Automatically Adjust My Benefit Rate If I Continue Working?

If I apply for Social Security at age 70 but continue to work well beyond age 70, to say to 75, will my SS benefit automatically adjust each year based on the highest 35 year formulation? If I have 20 years of Substantial Earning under Social Security at age 70 and continue to work after age 70, will my WEP deduction/penalty automatically decrease each year?

Hi. Yes. Social Security retirement benefits are based on an average of a person's highest 35 years of Social Security covered wage-indexed earnings. If you have fewer than 35 years of covered earnings, zero earnings years are included in your average. If you continue to work and replace those zero years with years of earnings, then your yearly average along with your benefit rate will increase. Even if you already have 35 years of covered earnings, though, you can increase your benefit rate if you continue working and if you earn more than you did in one of your previous highest 35 earnings years. Such benefit recomputations are done automatically by Social Security.

And, if your benefit rate is reduced due to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and if you have between 20 and 30 substantial earnings years, then additional years of substantial earnings can lessen the percentage WEP reduction ( Those types of benefit adjustments are also done automatically.

Best, Jerry

Feb 1 2022 - 4:47pm
MaxiFi software running on a laptop
Get What's Yours!
Discover tens of thousands in extra retirement dollars with Maximize My Social Security software!
  • Find your maximized strategy
  • Unlimited what-ifs
  • Step-by-Step filing instructions
  • Our software's lifetime-benefit increase for an illustrative couple earning $65K each and planning to take retirement benefits at 62.

    Results will differ based on your specific case and filing strategy.

Getting Started is Easy
Web-based software. Works on ALL browsers. No download.