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Retirement Earnings TestReleased: June 2015
DEFINITION: When you claim Social Security benefits before reaching full retirement age (FRA) and continue working and earning above a certain threshold, you are subject to the retirement earnings test (RET). The RET reduces Social Security benefits before you reach FRA, and then increases benefits for the remainder of your life when you reach FRA. Benefits withheld while you continue to work are not lost; they are added to your monthly benefit once you reach FRA.
The illustrations below show how the RET works for a hypothetical female beneficiary who claims benefits at age 62, works until age 65 earning $24,000 a year, and lives to age 86. a