May 29, 2018

YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY | Davenport, Iowa Office

By Linda Clayton-Powell
Social Security District Manager
Davenport, Iowa

SOCIAL SECURITY…LIVE

Social Security engages with the public in a number of ways. From news articles like this to blog posts, and printed publications to tweets, we try to speak to as many people, in as many ways, as we can. Our Facebook Live events give you concise information in an easy-to-follow conversation.

Here are the topics from recent Facebook Live events:

  • The Future of Social Security – Part 1. A conversation with Social Security’s Chief Actuary, Steve Goss, about the future of Social Security. Mr. Goss discusses the 2017 Trustees Report, explains key facts, and highlights important dates.
  • The Future of Social Security – Part 2. Part two of a conversation with Social Security’s Chief Actuary, Steve Goss, who answers viewer questions about Social Security’s trust funds, benefit programs, the Cost of Living Adjustment, and more.
  • How to Protect What is Important to You. National Consumer Protection Week 2018. Learn important consumer protection tips and how to safeguard your identity. The Federal Trade Commission shares information on how to protect yourself and your loved ones from falling victim to scammers.
  • 5 Things You Should Know About Retirement. William “BJ” Jarrett, Director of Social Security’s Office of Public and Employee Communications, and Marietta Jelks, editor in chief of the Consumer Action Handbook, cover several key topics that you need to know before you start receiving Social Security retirement benefits.

You can watch these videos and more on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SocialSecurity, or on our YouTube channel under the “Social Security Live!” playlist at www.youtube.com/SocialSecurity.

These videos present our programs in a way that is easy to access and understand, to help keep you informed. You
can share them with friends and family who are curious
about preparing for retirement or the many programs Social Security provides.

HOW THE WORK RULES WORK FOR YOU?

Retirement does not have the same meaning for everyone. Some people plan to retire and never work again. Some people plan for second careers in occupations that would not have adequately supported their families, but they do the work for pure enjoyment. Some people, whether by design or desire, choose to work part-time or seasonally to supplement their retirement income.

Retirees (or survivors) who choose to receive Social Security benefits before they reach full retirement age (FRA) and continue to work have an earnings limit. In 2017, the annual earnings limit was $16,920 for those under FRA the entire calendar year. In 2018, it is $17,040. If you earn over the limit, we deduct $1 from your Social Security monthly benefit payment for every $2 you earn above the annual limit.

In the calendar year you reach FRA, which you can check out at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/retire/ageincrease.html,
you have a higher earnings limit. Additionally, we will only count earnings for the months prior to FRA. In 2017, the limit was $44,880. In 2018, it is $45,360. In the year of FRA attainment, Social Security deducts $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn above the limit.

There is a special rule that usually only applies in your first year of receiving retirement benefits. If you earn more than the annual earnings limit, you may still receive a full Social Security payment for each month you earn less than a monthly limit. In 2018, the monthly limit is $1,420 for those who are below FRA the entire calendar year. The 2018 monthly limit increases to $3,780 in the year of FRA attainment.

Once you reach FRA, you no longer have an earnings limit, and we may recalculate your benefit to credit you for any months we withheld your benefits due to excess earnings. This is because your monthly benefit amount is calculated based on a reduction for each month you receive it before your FRA. So, if you originally filed for benefits 12 months before your FRA, but earned over the limit and had two months of Social Security benefits withheld, we will adjust your ongoing monthly benefit amount to reflect that you received 10 months of benefits before your FRA, and not 12.

Most people understand that if they work while receiving benefits before FRA, their benefit may be reduced. What most people do not consider in their retirement planning is that we recalculate your Social Security monthly benefit at FRA to credit you for Social Security benefit payments withheld due to earnings over the limit. Explaining the earnings limit is another way that Social Security helps secure your today and tomorrow. Understanding both the earnings limit and the possible recalculation of your ongoing Social Security benefits will provide an additional perspective on retirement for you to consider.

Filed Under: Finance, Retirement