What is the Earnings Test?

 

The earnings test is designed to better ensure that people that are not yet of full retirement age (but 62 or older) are actually largely 'retired' in order to start collecting their Social Security Retirement benefits despite not being of "Normal Retirement Age".  As such, if you are underaged, and earning too much, you will not be eligible for some or all of your calculated early benefit amount.  It will be paid back to the SSA either by you paying it, or by a reduction of your benefits til it is paid back.  The most important thing to remember is that IF that happens to you, while you may feel distressed about it, it will be paid back to you - in a higher benefit rate later that won't be as reduced as you expected when you decided to collect "early" social security benefits.  Thus, you may actually create bigger retirement income for yourself by being subject to this "earnings test."  That being said, if you need a specific consult on your specific situation, please feel free to avail yourself of our affordable Q&A service.

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