Social Security Questions? Ask a Social Security Expert
Hi. My mane is Eva and I will be happy to help you.
Your benefits are based on your lifetime earnings (the best 35 working years, to be exact), not your contributions to the social security/Medicare trust funds (your paycheck withholding). If you worked full time before you retired, your last 3 years were probably not the best earnings years. Therefore they will not affect your benefits. However, if you worked for less than 35 years before you retired, the last 3 years may slightly increase your benefits.
As long as you work for an employer covered by social security, you have to have SS and Medicare taxes withheld. I would not say that the withholdings are lost, it is type of tax you have to pay if you are earning income, just like federal and state income tax.
Social security is type of old age insurance. You pay the premiums (your withholdings) while you work and get the benefits when you are eligible for it (your social security benefits). Actual social security benefits and withholdings are unrelated. More contribution does not guarantee higher benefits. Receiving the benefits does not mean you can stop paying the premiums if you continue working and your withholding are not deposited into a designated account with your social security number that is used only for your benefit.
I see you read my respond. Do you have any questions? Is there anything else I can help you with today?