Staying on the Job

Employment and Seniors

For many different reasons many working seniors are not retiring at the traditional retirement age of 65 and retired seniors are returning to the workplace. While willing and able to work, some seniors may feel victims of age discrimination. They also feel victims of age discrimination. They also feel they may lose social security benefits if they continue to work. This article explains what age discrimination is and how social security pays when a person also has earnings while collecting social security.

What are the laws of age discrimination?

Arizona’s Civil Rights Act and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects individuals 40 years or older from employment discrimination based on age. Generally, employers cannot discriminate against a person because of age 40 or over with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment, including hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments, referral for employment and training.

Arizona’s Civil Rights Act regarding age discrimination applies to employers with 15 or more employees.

See the article in this section titled Age Discrimination for more details about age discrimination law. 

Can my employer force me to retire?

Both the Arizona Civil Rights Act and the ADEA prohibit mandatory retirement based on age. (29 U.S.C. § 623(f)(2); A.R.S. § 41-1463(G)(4)(b)).

There are some limited exceptions to this mandatory retirement prohibition. For example, employers can have forced retirement due to age for executives and firefighters and employees involved in public safety, such as firefighters and law enforcement officers. (29 U.S.C. § 623(j); A.R.S. § 41-1463(L)).

Will I lose my Social Security Benefits if I stay on the job or go back to work?

This depends on your age.

Starting with the month you reach  full retirement age (between 65 and 67, depending on your birth date) you get full social security retirement benefits with no limits on your earnings.
If you are receiving social security benefits prior to your full retirement age,
1.    If you are under full retirement age for the entire year, after you earn $15, 720 Social Security deducts $1 from your benefit payments for every $2 you earn.
2.    In the year you reach full retirement age, after you earn $41,880 in the months prior to reaching your full retirement age Social Security deducts $1 from your benefit payments for every $3 you earn, but only counts earnings before the month you reach your full retirement age.

Here is a link to a website published by the Social Security Administration that explains these earnings tests.  The link also has a retirement age calculator and a retirement earnings test calculator.

 


 “Retirement Age Calculator,” Social Security Administration, https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/ageincrease.html. Accessed 8 Sept. 2016

This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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