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A couple reviews how Social Security affects their income, pension, and taxes.

Are you planning to work after you retire? If so, will the extra income impact your Social Security benefit? Next, do you know if you are living in one of the 13 states that tax Social Security benefits? Let AARP's Social Security Question and Answer Tool act as an indispensable retirement checklist resource. This online retirement tool presents our members with answers to questions on private and government pensions, the Windfall Elimination Provision, and earnings and extra income in an easy to understand manner. Use AARP's Social Security Question and Answer Tool as a starting point to real-life matters about work, pensions, and income.

 

 

 

Calculate

 

Q: If I stop working before I begin claiming Social Security, will my monthly benefit amount be reduced?

A: The calculated benefits will not fall if you choose to retire from work early. — Read Full Answer

 

 

 

 

 

Earnings and Income

 

Q: Are Social Security benefits taxable regardless of age?

A: Income tax regulations are not determined by your age. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: Can rental income cause a reduction in a current Social Security benefit?

A: Rental income is not regarded as an earned income and will cause no change to your benefit. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: Do I need to notify Social Security if I'm receiving benefits and earn more than the annual earnings limit?

A: You can face a penalty if you do not notify the Social Security Administration of annual earnings. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: Do Social Security benefits count as income in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or are they protected?

A: Social Security benefits are generally protected by Federal law in bankruptcy cases. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: Do the proceeds from the sale of stock count toward the earnings limit for those who work and receive Social Security benefits between 62 and full retirement age?

A: Non-work earnings like pensions and capital gains are not counted as income and will not cause benefit reduction. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: Does the earnings limit increase as you get closer to full retirement age?

A: In the year you reach full retirement age, the Retirement Earnings Test limit for earned income rises. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: I received severance pay when my company closed down. How does this affect the Social Security benefit I am collecting?

A: Severance pay is usually considered a 'special payment' and not part of your regular income. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: If I collect Social Security benefits early but earn more than $15,720 limit, how do I pay the penalty?

A: You should notify the Social Security Administration of any earnings that you make so that it can adjust your benefits more quickly. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: Is the annual earnings limit for people of full retirement age broken down into a monthly maximum or is it for the year?

A: Income exceeding an annual maximum is generally subject to the Retirement Earnings Limit. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: When can I begin receiving Social Security benefits without being subject to the earnings limit of $15,720?

A: The Retirement Earnings Test limit no longer applies once you reach Full Retirement Age. — Read Full Answer

 

 

 

Government Pensions

 

Q: Can I receive a civil service pension and Social Security at the same time?

A: You can receive both a government pension and Social Security benefits at the same time but benefits may be reduced. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: Does my military pension affect my Social Security benefits?

A: Military pensions will not cause your benefits to be reduced. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: How can I find out how much my Social Security benefit will be reduced if I am subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision?

A: Benefit reductions are based on the number of years you paid into Social Security. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: I am a retired federal employee but my spouse is not. Can I receive spouse benefits on their record?

A: A retired federal employee can receive a spousal benefit, but it may be reduced by the Government Pension Offset. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: If my government pension is suspended or reduced, will my Social Security benefits increase?

A: Social Security benefits usually do not increase due to changes in government pensions. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: What are the "special credits" that veterans receive for military service?

A: Military personnel who were active during certain times can receive an extra wage credit. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: What is the Windfall Elimination Provision?

A: The WEP was created for employees who receive pensions from jobs in which they were not required to pay Social Security taxes. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: Why was the Windfall Elimination Provision created?

A: The WEP is in existence due to the progressive nature of the program. — Read Full Answer

 

 

 

Private Pensions

 

Q: How can I track down a pension from a former employer?

A: You can start your pension benefits search by visiting the Employee Benefits Security Administration for assistance. — Read Full Answer

 

 

 

Taxes

Q: Do I have to pay federal taxes on my Social Security benefits?

A: Your income will determine how much of your benefit is taxable. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: Do I have to pay taxes on my Social Security income?

A: Your income and state of residence will determine if your benefits are taxed. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: Do taxation rules on Social Security benefits change with age?

A: Most IRS rules are standardized for people of all ages. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: How can I have federal taxes withheld from my Social Security benefit?

A: Apply for additional voluntary tax withholdings by calling the IRS or visiting their website. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: I'm self-employed. Do I still have to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes?

A: Self-employed persons have to pay FICA taxes on their income. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: I'm starting a new job. Will my wages be subject to the FICA tax?

A: Almost all people earning income pay FICA taxes, there is no exception based on age. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: What does the IRS consider combined income (sometimes called provisional)?

A: Provisional income is based on the gross earnings a person has received. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: What is the income cap and what is the maximum amount of income that is subject to the FICA tax?

A: The maximum income cap amount subject to the FICA tax for 2013 is $113,700. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: Where can I get a copy of my SSA-1099 tax form?

A: You can get a copy of your SSA-1099 tax form by visiting your account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: Which states tax Social Security benefits?

A: 13 states tax benefits based on different criteria. — Read Full Answer

 

 

 

Work

 

Q: If I begin receiving my Social Security benefits early at age 62 and continue to work, will my benefits increase when I reach full retirement age?

A: The Social Security Administration regularly recalculates benefits based on recent earnings. — Read Full Answer

 

 

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