Three Decisions That Can Reduce Your Social Security Benefits November 5, 2013 Decisions you make about work, retirement and pensions potentially can reduce your social security benefits, attorneys in Jacksonville say. The phrase “just because you can doesn’t mean you should” holds true in many situations – including several that can significantly reduce your Social Security benefits. Attorneys with Harrell and Harrell want to make sure you know how to your benefits and make sure you get all that’s coming to you. Here are a few decisions that can affect your Social Security benefits: Taking Social Security or survivor’s benefits before your normal retirement age: If you earn over a certain amount and opt to take Social Security or survivor’s benefits before you hit retirement age, the Social Security Administration will withhold part of your benefit. At current levels, Social Security swipes $1 in benefits for every $2 of earnings above $15,120. Once you hit $40,080 in earnings, the SSA takes $1 in benefits for every $3 of earnings. Continuing to work after retirement age: If you hit retirement age and opt to keep working, your Social Security won’t be reduced no matter how high your earnings. However, you chance paying taxes on a much larger portion of those benefits as long as you continue to work. Receiving a pension from a government job: If you receive a pension and didn’t pay Social Security tax, you likely will see a reduction in both your work history-based benefits via the Windfall Elimination Provision, and in your Social Security survivor’s benefit. Given today’s tight economy, many people are opting to work well past retirement and to take benefits as soon as they’re able. Before you make a move that may affect your benefits, talk with an experienced Social Security or Social Security disability attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell. Call 800-251-1111.