Retirement & Financial Planning Report

An increase ahead in the “full” (or “normal”) Social Security retirement age will impact those who begin to collect Social Security upon turning age 62 this year, SSA has said.

The full retirement age is the point at which an individual’s benefits are calculated under the standard formula applying to Social Security. However, benefits can be drawn as early as age 62, although reduced proportionately for starting at any time between 62 and the full retirement age.


For many years the full retirement age was 65—those subject to that age received 80 percent of their full benefit if starting to draw benefits at age 62, for example. The age was then increased by two months a year over six years until it hit 66, applying to those born between 1943 and 1954; those subject to that age received 75 percent of their full benefit if starting benefits at age 62.

Effective with those born in 1955, the full retirement age is being increased again by two months each year, until it will reach age 67 for those born in 1960 and after. As that age increases, there are further reductions in an individual’s full benefit also being phased in for drawing benefits before the person’s full retirement age.

Those born in 1955 for example will receive 74 1/6th of their full benefit if starting benefits at age 62, rather than the 75 percent that has applied in recent years. That number will continue to decrease until it hits 70 percent, applying to those who will be subject to the age 67 full retirement age but who begin drawing benefits at 62.

In contrast, Social Security benefits are increased for those who do not draw benefits until after their full retirement age up to age 70, at which point there is no longer an additional increase for delaying.

The reduction on the one hand and the increase on the other is designed to make lifetime benefits come out about the same regardless of at what age between 62 and 70 an individual begins drawing Social Security.