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Socal Security: Birth year affects earnings limit

How much can I earn in 2007 and still receive all my Social Security retirement?Your birth year makes a big difference for this. Earnings limits for Social Security, known as the annual earnings test, vary based on your age now, not your age when...


How much can I earn in 2007 and still receive all my Social Security retirement?
Your birth year makes a big difference for this. Earnings limits for Social Security, known as the annual earnings test, vary based on your age now, not your age when you actually started SSA retirement benefits.

The following 2007 information is for a person who started receiving Social Security retirement or survivor benefits before 2007. While the same dollar amounts also apply for people first starting SSA benefits in 2007, special rules exist to help them adjust for earnings in the months before starting to receive Social Security. None of the following applies to anyone receiving benefits because of their own disability.

If receiving disability or any Supplemental Security Income (SSI) contact Social Security for current information. In 2007, a person younger than their full retirement age (FRA) can earn $12,960 for the year, gross wages or net self-employment, before monthly SSA benefits are affected. One dollar in benefits will be withheld for every $2 in earnings above this limit.

For example, wages would not lower your 2007 SSA retirement benefits if you are age 62 to 64 and earn $12,960 gross wages or less. If you earn $13,960 gross wages in 2007 you would be $1,000 over the limit so $500 will be withheld from your benefits.

Full retirement age is SSA's term for how old a person must be to receive retirement without age based reductions. Formerly age 65, full retirement age is slowly moving up to age 67 based on year of birth. The FRA for people born from 1943 to 1954 is 66.

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A person reaching full retirement age in 2007 can earn $34,440, but for them, the annual earnings test applies only to earnings for months before reaching the FRA. During this period, one dollar in benefits will be withheld for every $3 in earnings above the limit. There is no earnings limit beginning the month a person attains FRA.

More information about working while receiving SSA is in Publication 05-10069 "How Work Affects Your Benefits." It's on the agency Web site at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10069.html , available from SSA's national toll-free number and your local office.

People's work plans change during the year. Update your estimated earnings as changes occur by contacting the SSA national toll-free number or your local office.

General information questions can be sent to Howard I. Kossover, SSA, 124 N. Sixth St., Grand Forks ND 58203; phone (701) 772-5518 ext. 200; fax: (701) 772-8622; e-mail: howard.kossover @ssa.gov . Please include the name of the paper in which you read the article. SSA'S national toll-free number is (800) 772-1213.

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