Earn To Be Eligible For Maximum Social Security Benefit

The retirement social security benefit may seem like the next best thing to mac and cheese but there are a few things you must know. The Social Security Administration calculates how much you can get based on your total earnings throughout your working period, even if you push your retirement age to 70 years which is the maximum retirement age. Let us know about “Earn To Be Eligible For Maximum Social Security Benefit”

Earn To Be Eligible For Maximum Social Security Benefit

Earn To Be Eligible For Maximum Social Security Benefit

As of 2022, the maximum salary you need to get the maximum social security benefit is $147,000. This amount changes every year and can either reduce or increase based on inflation. This amount as stated is the maximum taxable income. Any amount above that cannot be taxed for social security.

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That being said, it is important to know that the Social Security Administration calculates the amount you eventually get for social security. Find out more by reading the rest of this article.

Calculating Your Social Security Benefits According To The Social Security Administration

It is important to say here that, although the retirement social security benefit is a major part of social security benefits you are eligible for in the US, it is not the only one. Others are the disability benefit, survivors’ benefit, and Supplemental Security Income benefit. The disability benefit also includes children with disability so a disabled child may be eligible for a benefit from the government.

The amount you get paid, which is a maximum of $4,194 per month if you decide to retire at 70 years, is dependent on the adjusted or average monthly earnings you have for 35 years of service or more.

Here is how – 

  1. The first $1,024 of that adjusted monthly earnings is multiplied by 0.9 (90%).
  2. The remaining part of up to $6,172 is multiplied by 0.32 (32%), and 
  3. Any remainder after these will be multiplied by 0.15 (15%).

For example, if after retirement, you have calculated your average monthly earnings to be $10,000, your social security benefit will be –

  1. The first $1,024 multiplied by 0.9 = $921.6,
  2. The next $6,172 multiplied by 0.32 = $1975.04,
  3. The remainder ($10,000 – ($1,024+$6,172)) which is $2,804 multiplied by 0.15 = $420.6.
  4. The total amount you are due per month for retirement social security benefits is the summations from the above which is $3,316.24.

Note: extra earnings based on delayed retirement and adjustments for cost of living may increase the amount you are due as calculated above

What Makes You Eligible For Retirement Social Security Benefits?

You are eligible for retirement social security benefits if you have worked for at least 10 years which is an equivalent of 40 credits; this is applicable if you were born between 1929 and now. Peradventure you stopped working at some point because of being laid off or whatever reason, the Social Security credits will be in store with the SSA until you begin to work again. However, if for some reason you failed to work for a minimum of 10 years, the SSA is not obligated to pay you any retirement social security benefit.

Other things that could influence your retirement social security benefit include

  • Your retirement age – if you choose to retire early, you get less and if you choose to get to 70 years before retiring, you earn more.
  • You keep working – some people choose to keep working beyond age 70 and can thus increase future social security benefits.
  • Medicare – the cost of Medicare for retirees factors into the amount they are paid as this will be deducted from their monthly checks.
  • Your pension scheme – your pension scheme may affect your retirement benefit.
  • Income tax – if you have other sources of income apart from retirement social security benefits – for example, a pension – you will have to pay income tax.
  • Special earnings – the normal social security benefits only apply if you are not a farm worker, working for a government or institution outside of the USA, work for the federal, state, or local government worker, are a household employee, in military service, self-employed, works with the railway authority, or you work for a religious or non-profit organization. All the above listed have special rules applied to them and can be found here.


Now we have learnt “Earn To Be Eligible For Maximum Social Security Benefit”, Since the maximum taxable income is $147,000, earning below this may mean you are not taxed and hence do not get to benefit from retirement security benefits. However, you could also register with the Social Security Administration to have a better understanding of what is due to you when you retire.

  1. Can I still get a retirement social security benefit if I retire early?

While the amount you get paid will reduce since it is based on your average earnings over 10 to 35 years, you can still get your benefit. This is provided you have worked for at least 10 years before retirement.

  1. How can I increase my retirement social security benefit?

You can have various sources of income, choose to retire later than 70 years or claim another social security benefit like disability benefit or survivors’ benefit.

Earn To Be Eligible For Maximum Social Security Benefit

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