What Is the Full Retirement Age for Social Security?

You can start collecting your Social Security payments at age 62, but you won’t receive the full benefit you have earned unless you wait until your full retirement age to sign up for Social Security. The Social Security full retirement age varies based on your birth year. Here’s a look at how to determine your full retirement age and what this means for how much you will get from Social Security in retirement.

The Social Security full retirement age is:

— 65 for those born in 1937 and earlier.

— 66 for those born between 1943 and 1954.

— 67 for those born in 1960 or later.

[READ: The Social Security Retirement Age Increases to 66 and 10 months in 2021.]

Age 65

The full retirement age used to be age 65 for everyone born in 1937 and earlier. After that, the full retirement age increased in two-month increments from 65 and two months for someone born in 1938 to 65 and 10 months for those with a birth year of 1942.

— 1938: 65 and two months.

— 1939: 65 and four months.

— 1940: 65 and six months.

— 1941: 65 and eight months.

— 1942: 65 and 10 months.

[Read: Social Security Changes Coming in 2022.]

Age 66

The Social Security full retirement age is 66 for most baby boomers born between 1943 and 1954. However, for people born in the five years after that the full retirement age again increases in two-month increments each year.

— 1955: 66 and two months.

— 1956: 66 and four months.

— 1957: 66 and six months.

— 1958: 66 and eight months.

— 1959: 66 and 10 months.

If your full retirement age is 66 and you sign up for Social Security at age 62, you will get 25% smaller Social Security payments. Alternatively, those with a full retirement age of 66 can accrue up to four years of delayed retirement credits and increase monthly payments by as much as 32% by waiting to claim Social Security payments until age 70.

[READ: How Much You Will Get From Social Security.]

Age 67

The full retirement age for Social Security is 67 for everyone born in 1960 or later. “Social Security is gradually raising the full retirement age — the age at which your retirement and dependent benefits aren’t reduced for taking them early nor are your retirement benefits raised for delaying their receipt — to age 67,” says Laurence Kotlikoff, an economics professor at Boston University and co-author of “Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security.”

Workers with an older full retirement age experience a bigger benefit reduction for starting Social Security payments before their full retirement age, and get less of a benefit from delaying claiming Social Security. Mike Piper, a certified public accountant and author of “Social Security Made Simple,” says, “An older full retirement age does not have any effect on when you can file for benefits. It simply means you get less per month, regardless of the age at which you file.”

A worker born after 1960 who starts collecting Social Security payments as soon as possible at age 62 will get a 30% benefit reduction, compared with 25% for baby boomers. Those with a full retirement age of 67 who delay claiming Social Security can earn up to three years of delayed retirement credits and boost their monthly payments by 24% if they start Social Security payments at age 70. You can get a personalized estimate of your future Social Security payments at various claiming ages by creating a my Social Security account and viewing your Social Security statement.

Under current law, there are no further scheduled increases to the Social Security full retirement age. “The increase in the full retirement age has reached its peak in 2022,” says Jim Blair, a former Social Security administrator and lead consultant at Premier Social Security Consulting in Cincinnati. “Going forward, everyone attaining age 62 will have a full retirement age of 67.”

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What Is the Full Retirement Age for Social Security? originally appeared on usnews.com

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