SOCIAL SECURITY Q&A: Part time work can increase Social SecurityI have received Social Security retirement for several years while continuing to work part-time. Can this work increase my retirement amount?
By: Howard Kossover, Grand Forks Herald
Q. I have received Social Security retirement for several years while continuing to work part-time. Can this work increase my retirement amount?
A. Yes. New employment earnings can increase your monthly amount even after you start your SSA retirement. Automatically each year, the Social Security Administration reviews the work record of everyone receiving benefits. If new gross wage or net self-employment income earnings are posted, benefit amounts are automatically checked and possibly increased.
The automatic review to include new earnings does not mean benefits always increase. Retirement amounts are computed using your best 35 years of employment earnings, often highest before you retire. If the new year of earnings is one of your highest years, it replaces a year already used. Your amount is refigured and any increase due, including for past months, is paid. Existing benefits will not change unless the new earnings replace a year already used.
Usually during this time of the year, once all W-2 forms for a year are processed this automatic review takes place. Most people due a benefit rate increase based upon 2010 employment will receive the increase in their November 2011 benefit payment payable in December 2011.
Reminder: Did you change your mailing address this year? Did you provide your new address to Social Security? During January, people receiving SSA benefits are mailed Form 1099 showing 2011 benefits received for income tax purposes. Make sure you receive yours.
Report changes by calling the SSA national number (800) 772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time, or by contacting your local office.
It will be easier if both members of a couple are available when calling.
Howard I. Kossover is the Social Security Public Affairs Specialist for North Dakota and western Minnesota and is based in Grand Forks. Send general interest questions to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.