Social Security earnings test

If a person is collecting Social Security benefits, income earned prior to full retirement age may trigger Social Security’s earnings test, which will reduce a person’s benefits if these wages exceed certain levels. The earnings levels that trigger reductions change every year, so check out the earning test link (above) for current details.

The earnings test does not apply to benefits once a person reaches their full retirement age, which the agency also describes as normal retirement age.

At FRA, the withheld benefits will be returned in the form of higher monthly benefit payments.