Under legislation passed in April 2000, Social Security withholds benefits if your earnings exceed a certain amount only if you retired before your normal retirement age. The normal retirement age is 65 for those born before 1938 and gradually increases to 67 for each year after 1937.
If you retire on or after your normal retirement age, your benefits amount will not be affected by extra earnings, no matter how much you make. If you retire early and your earnings exceed a certain level your benefits will be reduced until you reach your normal retirement age. Your benefits may be reduced because of earnings before you reach your normal retirement age, but once you reach that age, your benefits will no longer be reduced if you work. However, it is important to remember that your benefits will still be reduced because you chose to retire early.
If you retire early and continue to work, the amount your benefits will be reduced depends on how much you earn. Contact your local Social Security Administration office if you have any questions about how working past retirement will affect your benefits. You can also contact the SSA by calling 1 (800) 772-1213 or visit the website at http://www.ssa.gov.
For more information, see: Social Security Online, Retirement Planner, http://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking.html (last visited June 4, 2015); Social Security Online, Automatic Increases, http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/rtea.html (last visited June 4, 2015); 20 C.F.R. § 404.430 (2015).