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Excess Earnings - Defined

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at ssa.gov.

1802. Excess Earnings - Defined

1802.1 What are "excess earnings"?

"Excess earnings" are your earnings that exceed the annual exempt amount. (See §1803).

1802.2 How do excess earnings affect your benefit amount?

If you are younger than full retirement age (FRA) (see §723.5), your excess earnings are subject to a $1 deduction from benefits for each $2 you earn. In the year you reach FRA, you are subject to a different annual exempt amount, and your excess earnings are subject to a $1 deduction from benefits for each $3 you earn.

Last Revised: Sep. 27, 2005


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There are 8 Comments

I'm going to be 66 in July and am planning on retiring then. How much money can I make from Jan.-July 2009 and not be penalized when I start getting my SS? Am I eligible for my full SS amount this year?

If you were born January 2, 1943, through January 1, 1955, then your full retirement age for retirement insurance benefits is 66. If you work and are full retirement age or older, you may keep all of your benefits, no matter how much you earn. If you are younger than full retirement age, there is a limit to how much you can earn and still receive full Social Security benefits. If you are younger than full retirement age during all of 2009, Social Security will deduct $1 from your benefits for each $2 you earned above $14,160.

If you reach full retirement age during 2009, Social Security will deduct $1 from your benefits for each $3 you earn above $37,680 until the month you reach full retirement age.

See here for examples :
http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10069.html#howmuch

Pension income in general would be viewed as "income" from an income tax perspective.

However, I do not believe pension income is viewed as income from Social Security's Excess Earnings perspective.

See §1801 which pertains to EARNED income from work. Not "portfolio" or even "passive" income from investments and the like.

I am 30 and recieving disability. I would like to try to work, most likely less than 10 or so hours a week. How much can I make and still recieve my benefits until I know if I can handle the work?

I own property with my brother. Is the rental income considered in the amount of money I can earn, or is it just income I still earn from a part time job.

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