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Study Finds That Social Security Workers Often Provide Incomplete Information
Another common area of misinformation involves working while taking Social Security. If you collect benefits before full retirement age and continue to work, there is a limit to how much you can earn and still collect benefits. If you earn over the threshold, Social Security will deduct $1 from your benefits for each $2 you earn. It is important to know, however, that any benefits withheld while you continue to work are not gone forever. Once you reach your full retirement age, your monthly benefit will be increased permanently to account for the months in which benefits were withheld. The GAO study found that only seven of the 18 benefit applicants for whom the retirement earnings test could potentially apply were given complete information about how the test worked.
The study demonstrates that workers nearing retirement should do their research before applying for benefits. The GAO study offered several recommendations to the Social Security Administration, including ensuring that field officers inform workers about the benefits of delaying retirement and providing better information about how work affects Social Security benefits.
To read the study, click here.