Suppose Person A, who does not have a full 35 years of earnings, and was not a high earner, files for retirement benefits at age 62. The benefits will be rather small.

What if Person A starts earning more -- after filing? Will the retirement benefit be adjusted? Or is it fixed at the time of filing?

  • 1
    @Lawrence - Thanks. I've corrected the title now. Jan 1, 2020 at 14:46

2 Answers 2


SSA: Getting Benefits While Working

You can work while you receive Social Security retirement (or survivors) benefits. When you do, it could mean a higher benefit for you in the future.

Each year we review the records for all working Social Security recipients. If your earnings for the prior year are higher than one of the years we used to compute your retirement benefit, we will recalculate your benefit amount. We pay the increase retroactive to January the year after you earned the money.

Higher benefits can be important to you later in life and increase the future benefit amounts your family and your survivors could receive.

Later on the page:

Also, as long as you continue to work and receive benefits, we will check your record every year to see whether the additional earnings will increase your monthly benefit. If there is an increase, we will send you a letter telling you of your new benefit amount.

In addition, after you reach full retirement age, we will recalculate your benefit amount to give you credit for any months in which you did not receive a benefit because of your earnings. We will send you a letter telling you about any increase in your benefit amount.


Yes, it does.


if you’re younger than full retirement age, and earn more than certain amounts, your benefits will be reduced.

The amount that your benefits are reduced, however, isn’t truly lost. Your benefit will increase at your full retirement age to account for benefits withheld due to earlier earnings.

If you’re younger than full retirement age, there is a limit to how much you can earn and still receive full Social Security benefits. If you’re younger than full retirement age during all of 2019, we must deduct $1 from your benefits for each $2 you earn above $17,640.

  • Also, once the person passes full retirement age, the benefits are no longer reduced, and if you earn more in a year than the adjusted 35 years, that will replace the lowest year, and the benefit amount increased accordingly.
    – jamesqf
    Jan 1, 2020 at 18:25

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