Social Security deductions


Q. I am a law enforcement officer who retired after 27 years at age 51. I am receiving the special retirement supplement, which I should receive fully until age 56 despite any additional income. I started a private-sector position immediately upon my retirement. They are taking full Social Security deductions from my pay. It seems to me that I have “topped out” on Social Security based on my service. Should I still have Social Security deducted? If so, will I receive any benefit from this when file my taxes next year?

A. As long as you have earnings from wages or self-employment, Social Security deductions will be required. It’s the law. While the pay of your private-sector position won’t affect your special retirement supplement before you reach age 56, it will be subject to the Social Security earnings limitation after that. In 2013, that limit is $15,120. While you might think that you’ve “topped out” on Social Security, you’d be wrong. The longer you work, the higher your benefit will be when you finally apply for it. And if you work after you begin receiving it, your benefit will be adjusted annually.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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