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Benefits on tap for early retiree

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Q. I elected early Social Security benefits. If I withdraw money from my IRA, will this reduce my benefits? E.L., Poughkeepsie, N.Y.     

A. No, although the IRA payout is taxable. Presumably, you’re referring to the “earnings test” for Social Security retiree benefits. If you earn more than $15,700 in 2015 and haven’t attained normal retirement age (NRA), you’ll forfeit $1 in benefits for every $2 of earnings above this threshold. But this only counts earned income like wages and not IRA distributions or investment earnings. The threshold for someone attaining NRA in 2015 is $41,880. In this case, you forfeit $1 in benefits for every $3 above the limit.

Tip: For more information about Social Security retiree benefits, visit www.ssa.gov.

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