Q & A

I want to work part-time while getting Social Security…will I pay Social Security taxes?

Complete Question: I want to work part-time while receiving Social Security benefits. I’m assuming that since I’m retired (I’m 66 years old) and getting my benefits, I won’t have to pay any more Social Security taxes on my paycheck. Is that correct?

Answer: Unfortunately, no, that is not correct. As long as you are working (either for an employer or self-employed), you are required to pay FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes. It does not matter how old you are, how many hours you are working, or how much money you make (except that there is a maximum taxable salary for everyone). The upside to this is that if you make more money in a year than any of your 35 years of earnings that were used to determine your Social Security benefit, than your benefit will go up. This is because the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines your benefit amount by first getting an average of your highest 35 years of earnings (NOTE: Up to the age of 59, these earnings are indexed for inflation). So let’s say that one of those years (after indexing for inflation) only amounted to $5,000. This could have happened because you were young, unemployed, injured, or any other reason. Then after taking Social Security, maybe you work part-time and earn $10,000 for the year. This $10,000 will replace the $5,000, thus making your average larger and increasing your benefit. So it is not necessarily a bad thing that you are still paying FICA taxes after retirement.

Research Analyst/Certified Social Security Advisor (NSSA)
AMAC Foundation
Notice: If you have any additional questions about working while on Social Security or any other Social Security issues, you can reply below. If you would like to discuss your situation privately, you can email C.J. at cmiles@amacfoundation.com. Please do not provide any personal identification information such as Social Security numbers.

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