Family Members Have Individual Earnings Test Amounts

Q: My husband is starting Social Security retirement soon but I am younger and will continue working. Will my earnings reduce his benefits?

A: Your earnings will not reduce his Social Security retirement because those benefits are based on his own work record.

Only your personal gross wages and net income from self-employment are included towards annual earnings test limits when receiving your Social Security retirement. Income of family members is not considered. Annual test limits end when a person reaches full retirement age.

An important point here is that your husband will be receiving his own Social Security retirement.

The earnings test applies individually when both members of a couple receive their own Social Security retirement. For example, each could have a different earnings limit or no limit at all based on age.

When a person receives Social Security through the work record of his or her spouse, then earnings of the spouse could affect benefits paid.

For example, say you start your Social Security retirement while still working and your husband becomes eligible for benefits as a spouse through your work record.

If your earnings exceed your applicable earnings test limits, your retirement and the spousal benefits paid through your record could be reduced. His own retirement would not be.