Q: Will you please explain when the “earnings test” on the Social Security Supplement takes effect for Federal Employees Retirement System employees? What will be the effective date when the supplement is reduced and/or halted if you’ve exceeded the earnings limit? How are your after-retirement earnings reported, how often and to whom? Will the supplement be reinstated if your after-retirement earned income returns to below the earnings limit?
A: For a good overview of how the Social Security earnings limit applies, including how things are handled if you retire in the middle of a year, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10069.html. The Social Security Administration learns if you have exceeded the earnings limit when you file your federal income tax. If they have overpaid, you owe them money. If your earnings in a subsequent year are under the earnings limit, your benefits will be restored.