Retirees, here’s how returning to work may affect Social Security, Medicare, pensions and taxes


Amid rising inflation and a volatile stock market, many retirees are heading back to work. In April, Hiring Lab, the economic research arm of the job board, reported that as of March 2022, 3.2% of employees who were retired a 12 months ago are actually employed.

Unretiring can assist stabilize or boost your money flow. But it surely might trigger unintended consequences in other financial areas of your life, including Social Security Medicare, pension and taxes. So, before firing off your resume, listed below are 4 things to think about:

1. Social Security

There are two ways in which working longer could have a positive effect in your future Social Security advantages. First, money you earn now may raise the long-term average earnings in your profit calculation. Second, extra income might make it easier so that you can delay claiming Social Security for just a few years. That’s worthwhile, because advantages increase 8% a 12 months for each 12 months you delay claiming after your full retirement age, up until age 70.

Nevertheless, if you happen to start collecting Social Security before reaching your full retirement age, after which return to work, your monthly advantages is likely to be reduced, no less than temporarily.

Also read: Older employees were ‘unretiring,’ but the brand new COVID variant may change that

Your check will decrease in case your earnings exceed the annual earnings limit set by the Social Security Administration ($19,560 in 2022). In case you don’t exceed the limit, there isn’t a impact. For each $2 you earn above the limit, your advantages will likely be reduced by $1.

For instance, if you happen to earn $40,560 this 12 months, your advantages will likely be reduced by $10,500. The 12 months you reach full retirement age, the earnings limit is higher ($51,960 for 2022) and your advantages are only reduced by $1 for each $3 above that limit. When you reach full retirement age, the deferrals end and future monthly advantages will likely be recalculated to compensate for any money withheld previously.

To be clear, the deferral only applies to income from wages and net earnings from self-employment. It doesn’t include pensions, government advantages, or investment income. And it only affects individuals who haven’t yet reached full retirement age as determined by the Social Security Administration; that’s 66 if you happen to were born between 1943 to 1954. Full retirement age increases progressively for those born between 1955 to 1960. For people born in 1960 or later, the total retirement age is 67.

For more information, see the Regularly Asked Questions section of the Social Security Administration’s website.

2. Medicare

Do you have to keep Medicare coverage if you happen to work for an employer that gives healthcare insurance? The reply to that query is complicated. There are numerous “ifs” “ands” and “buts” to think about.

In case you, or your spouse, goes to work for an organization that gives medical health insurance, you’ll be able to take it and remain on Medicare at the identical time. One will likely be considered primary coverage, and the opposite is secondary. But if you happen to remain on any a part of Medicare, you can not take part in a health savings plan in case your employer offers one.

Nevertheless, things get trickier if you wish to maintain Medicare Part A (which is free for most individuals) but drop the parts of Medicare which you pay for, akin to Medicare Part B (outpatient coverage) Part D (prescription drug plans) Medicare Advantage and Medigap.

For starters, coverage rules are different for small businesses (fewer than 20 employees). In case you’re over age 65, Medicare is taken into account your primary coverage and your private insurance only pays for services that Medicare doesn’t. That might leave you with significant gaps in your coverage.

Even if you happen to work for a bigger employer, who offers you cost-effective insurance, you’ll must avoid running afoul of the foundations governing re-enrollment, pre-existing conditions etc. if you find yourself able to re-enroll in Medicare coverage later. So, before you drop any a part of your Medicare coverage, speak with a Medicare broker and your HR department to totally understand the impacts of your decision.

One other issue: In case you earn enough, you could be answerable for a premium surcharge in your Medicare Part B and Part D premiums. This may very well be substantial. In 2022, the common Part B premium is $170.10 a month, but higher earners pay as much as $578.30 a month. You won’t be hit with the rise immediately, for the reason that government uses your tax return from two years prior to find out the price of premiums.

To avoid any nasty surprises down the road, visit to see what surcharges, if any, you can be answerable for.

Related: Some older employees are being welcomed back to the workforce

3. Pensions

Returning to work after retirement can affect your pension. Each plan has its own algorithm and restrictions, so be sure that you check along with your HR Department or pension plan provider to make sure you understand any potential issues.

Some plans mean you can collect a full pension at retirement age, others suspend pension payments and still others place limits in your earnings and hours. Most pensions usually are not affected if you happen to go to work for a latest employer, but here again, there are some exceptions.

Also read: 2022 is hurting your public pension – the common funded ratio might even see the ‘largest single-year decline’ since 2008

4. Taxes

Finally, a return to work might bump you into the next tax bracket, which could increase the tax bite in your investment income, required minimum distributions and other forms of income. Generally, the extra income will outweigh the tax pain, nevertheless it’s clever to do a cost-benefit evaluation.

Nancy Collamer, M.S., is a semiretirement coach, speaker and creator of “Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit From Your Passions During Semi-Retirement.” You may now download her free workbook, “25 Ways to Help You Discover Your Ideal Second Act” on her website at (and also you’ll also receive her free bimonthly newsletter). 

This text is reprinted by permission from, © 2022 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. All rights reserved.

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