Social Security and Your Retirement Earnings Limit


At retirement age, you may need extra income. You may also find the life of an idle retiree doesn’t suit you.  Retirement can be as dynamic as any other time of life.

If you do take on new earnings in retirement, you need to be aware of the effect that working during retirement has on your Social Security benefits. 

If you are under normal retirement age but receiving Social Security, an annual earnings limit is set by the Social Security Administration on earnings you can receive in addition to benefits.

Once you reach your normal retirement age, you may take on any amount of additional earnings without affecting Social Security retirement benefits.

Earnings Limit - the Pros and Cons of Extra Earnings

Should you always keep your earnings in retirement below the Social Security limits?  Not necessarily.  While there will be withholdings on your higher earnings, your income overall may improve to a level that benefits your financial situation.

If you have a job opportunity, it’s worth it to do the math. 

For example: should the earnings from your new job exceed the Social Security limit, you will take a hit on your current SS retirement benefits.  However, your job earnings may make it all worthwhile.

If your new salary + reduced benefits > previous benefits, you not only have an improved income, you are once again contributing to Social Security.

That means that when the time comes to retire completely, you will have contributed to improving your final SS benefits.


Social Security FAQs

For those who earn additional income during the year, income tax may apply to Social Security benefits if total income exceeds a certain base amount.

A special rule applies to Social Security benefits during your first year of retirement.  Those who retire mid-year may find they have already earned more than the annual earnings limit.  The rule provides for full Social Security benefits in any whole month that you are retired, despite the fact that you exceed the earnings limit.

Social Security penalties apply to anyone who fails to report retirement earnings.

Your extra earnings affect only your own benefits, not those of your family if you are receiving benefits as a family member.

Fill out the form below or call 845.336.4444 at ext. 3166 or 3126 to schedule a no cost/no obligation appointment with one of our representatives.





Required Minimum Distribution

Have you heard of the 70 ½ rule?  With a traditional IRA, retirees are required to take minimum distributions for the year in which they reach 70 ½.  This is because of the tax deferred status of investments held in employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Fail to take a minimum distribution when required and there is a 50% penalty on the amount that should have been distributed. 

That said, you may be able to delay taking required minimum distributions from your employer’s plan if you retire from your employer after the age of 70 ½.

Plan for Retirement with the MHV Investment & Retirement Center

Retirement should provide the best years of your life.   At the MHV Investment & Retirement Center, our retirement experts are ready to help you choose the right approach to retirement earnings. 

Call the retirement professionals at the MHV Investment & Retirement Center at 845-336-4444, ext 3166 or 3126, or email us at



Securities sold, advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution to make securities available to members. 
Not NCUA/NCUSIF/FDIC insured, May Lose Value, No Financial Institution

Representatives are not tax advisors or Social Security experts. For information regarding your specific tax situation, please consult a tax professional. To discuss your specific SSA benefits questions, please contact the SSA office in your area.