- What is my Social Security full retirement age (FRA)?
- When retirement age
- What is full retirement age (FRA)?
- What Is Full Retirement Age and Why Does It Matter?
- Retirement age calculator
- Early Eligibility Age
- Retirement Earnings Test
- What Are the Biggest Mistakes When Claiming Social Security?
- Can I Collect Social Security While Working?
- What is the File and Suspend Strategy for Social Security?
- FRA is Different for a Widow or Widower
- Qualifications for Social Security Spousal Benefit
- How do you qualify for retirement benefits?
- Delayed retirement
- How do you sign up for Social Security?
- Retirement age different countries
What is my Social Security full retirement age (FRA)?
Hi, there! when you should take full Retirement age for Social Security and Medicare.
Before we get into when you should claim, let’s look at when you can claim. You can begin claiming at 62, but to get your complete Social Security benefit, you need to wait until your full retirement age(FRA).
That’s 66 for people born between 1943 and 1954. For anyone born between 1955 and 1959, you’ll have to wait a few more months. For anyone born after 1960, the full retirement age(FRA) has been raised to 67.
To further complicate things, you don’t have to retire when you hit full retirement age, and it actually pays not to. If you can wait at least one extra year after 66 or 67, depending on which one is your full retirement age(FRA), you’ll get an extra 8% in benefits for every year between 66 or 67, depending upon your age, that you wait to submit your claim, until the age of 70.
In addition to those calculations, there are also different considerations for a married person who did not work long enough or make enough money to earn much of a Social Security check.
People in that category can retire at full retirement age(FRA) with half of their spouse’s benefit. If, however, they choose to retire at 62, then that amount can get reduced by up to 35% — 8.33% for each of the first three years, and 5% for each year on top of that.
It’s worth noting that the spouse does not get a lesser benefit of his or her own when this claiming method is used; and should the higher-earning spouse die, the surviving member of the couple can switch from the half share to a survivor’s benefit, which is generally the full amount the spouse was collecting.
That, of course, only covers when you could start collecting Social Security, not when you should. To decide when you should take benefits, you should consider the following things.
- How long can you continue working?
- How much do you have saved?
- What will your expenses be in retirement it?
- Are you in good health?
Deciding when to collect Social Security requires taking an honest look at your finances, your savings, your work situation, and your post-retirement expenses.
The earlier you file, the less you get; but it is a sliding scale. You lose 6.67% a year for the first three years if you retire between 62 and 65.
For the year — or two years — after that, depending upon whether full retirement age is 66 or 67 for you, you’ll lose 5% for each year you claim your benefits early, with a maximum loss of 30%.
Simply put, you collect more money each month if you can put off retirement until 70, but that may not be the right move for everyone.
If, for example, you’ve saved enough that Social Security won’t be an important part of your retirement income, but you’re not in great health, you may consider claiming at 62 to maximize the amount of years you collect.
That scenario, sadly, does not apply to most Americans. In fact, a recent survey from Transamerica showed that 66% of American seniors expected Social Security to be their principal form of retirement income.
That’s a scary number since Social Security generally only replaces about 40% of an individual’s pre-retirement income.
For most Americans, unless you have saved well for retirement, or are in poor health, it makes sense to delay taking benefits for as long as possible. If you keep working until full retirement age(FRA), you will have put in four or five extra years where you’re earning money and not spending any of your retirement savings.
If you can keep working until 70, you will increase your Social Security payment by 24% to 32%, depending on your full retirement age(FRA), and that’s a pretty huge difference. Of course, if you can’t work anymore, or have stopped working because you’ve planned properly for retirement, then it may make sense to claim earlier.
The same is true if your health prognosis suggests you don’t have that many years ahead of you. When to claim Social Security is a very personal question, but the broad answer for the average American with no major health problems is to put it off as long as possible.
If you wait, you can maximize how big your monthly check will be. And hopefully, you’ll live long enough to collect more than you would have, had you taken a smaller check sooner.
When retirement age
When is your Full Retirement Age (FRA) for Social Security?
When you’re for retirement ages I’ve often said that a good knowledge of the social security basics, will help keep you protected when it’s your turn to file for Social Security one of the first basics you need to learn is your full retirement age(FRA).
So let’s dive in when you’re trying to figure out when your full retirement age is you simply need to know what it’s set to for a year of birth for those born between 1943 and 1954.
Your full retirement age(FRA) is simply 66 but then it starts to increase for two months for every year after that all the way up until you get to 1960 at which point the full retirement age is simply set at 67 years old that’s it that’s as complicated as it gets.
What is full retirement age (FRA)?
The full retirement age (FRA) was 65 at the inception of Social Security. According to Robert Myers, who worked on the creation of the Social Security program in 1934 and later served in various senior and appointed capacities at the Social Security Administration (SSA), age 65 was picked because 60 was too young and 70 was too old.
So we split the difference.” On the other hand, SSA suggests that the Committee on Economic Security (CES) made the proposal of 65 as the retirement age due to the prevalence of private and state pension systems using 65 as the retirement age and the favorable actuarial outcomes for 65 as the retirement age.
- The full retirement age is also referred to as the normal retirement age (NRA). In statute, the term “retirement age” is used; see Social Security Act, §216 [42 U.S.C. §416].
- Widow(er)’s benefits can be claimed as early as age 60; disabled widow(er)’s benefits can be claimed as early as age 50. These benefits are also subject to reduction if claimed before the FRA. There is no minimum eligibility age for a dependent child’s benefits. For more details, see “Benefits for the Worker’s Family Members” in CRS Report R42035, Social Security Primer.
- The delayed retirement credit applies to the period that begins with the month the worker attains the FRA and ends with the month before he or she attains the age of 70.
- Robert J. Myers and Richard L. Vernaci, Within the System: My Half-Century in Social Security (Winsted, CT: ACTEX Publications, 1992), pp. 93-94.
- Social Security Administration (SSA), “Age 65 Retirement,” at https://www.ssa.gov/history/age65.html. The actuarial studies in the 1930s showed that using age 65 produced a manageable system that could easily be made self-sustaining with only modest levels of payroll taxation.
- P.L. 98-21.
- An increase in the FRA is a form of benefit reduction. Those who claim benefits at the higher FRA, for example, receive fewer months of benefits and a reduction in the total amount of lifetime Social Security benefits holding everything else constant.
- For example, see Rep. Elliott H. Levitas, “Social Security Amendments of 1983,” House debate, Congressional Record, vol. 129, part 4 (March 9, 1983), p. 4517; Rep. Beryl Anthony, Jr., “Social Security Amendments of 1983,” House debate, Congressional Record, vol. 129, part 4 (March 9, 1983), p. 4600.
- For example, retired-worker benefits claimed at age 62 are reduced by 20% if the worker’s FRA is 65, by 25% if the worker’s FRA is 66, and by 30% if the worker’s FRA is 67.
Social Security and what is known as your full retirement age. This is the actual age when you’ll get your full retirement benefits from Social Security.
And it actually varies depending on the year when you were born. For most of you, full retirement age or FRA, will be somewhere between the ages of 66 but no more than 67.
Social Security is not needs-based, it’s actual earnings-based, and the Social Security Administration tracks what you paid into the program and then it figures out what you’re going to get.
So you need 40 quarters to be eligible for Social Security, and you can earn up to four quarters in a year. So you need at least 10 working years to receive a benefit.
Then what they do is they take your 35 highest-earning years and those are indexed to arrive at what is called your primary insurance amount or PIA.
This is what you’ll actually receive on what is known as your full retirement age(FRA) date. Social Security can be turned on at any time between the ages of 62 and no later than 70. If you turn it on early, you do so at a discount.
And if you delay it past your full retirement age, your PIA will actually grow at approximately 8 percent annually. So when you take Social Security’s going to be one of the biggest decisions you may make in retirement.
What Is Full Retirement Age and Why Does It Matter?
Why Knowing Your Full Retirement Age (FRA) Is Important
There are a lot of important things that you need to know about Social Security but there’s one thing that’s more important than anything.
|Year of Birth||Full Retirement Age (FRA)|
|1937 or earlier||65|
|1938||65 and 2 months|
|1939||65 and 4 months|
|1940||65 and 6 months|
|1941||65 and 8 months|
|1942||65 and 10 months|
|1943 – 1954||66|
|1955||66 and 2 months|
|1956||66 and 4 months|
|1957||66 and 6 months|
|1958||66 and 8 months|
|1959||66 and 10 months|
|1960 and later||67|
How much will you reduce your Social Security benefits before your full retirement?
|If Your Full Retirement Age Is:||And You Claim Benefits at the Age of:||Your Benefit Would Be Reduced by:|
|If Your Full Retirement Age Is:||And You Claim Social Security at:||You Could Increase Your Primary Insurance Amount by:|
How much Social Security benefits can you maximize by retiring after your full retirement?
|If Your Full Retirement Age Is:||Maximum Number of Months You Could Earn Delayed Retirement Credits Is:||Maximum Increase in Your Primary Insurance Amount if You Wait Until Age 70 Is:|
|66 and 2 months||46||30.7%|
|66 and 4 months||44||29.3%|
|66 and 6 months||42||28%|
|66 and 8 months||40||26.7%|
|66 and 10 months||38||25.3%|
|If Your Full Retirement Age Is:||And You Retire at:||Your $1,500 Benefit Would Be Reduced to:|
|If Your Full Retirement Age Is:||And You Claim Social Security at:||Your Benefits Will Increase to:|
How delayed retirement affects your social security benefits
|If you start getting benefits at age||Multiply your Full Retirement Benefit by|
|66 + 2 months||100.0%|
|66 + 3 months||100.7%|
|66 + 4 months||101.3%|
|66 + 5 months||102.0%|
|66 + 6 months||102.7%|
|66 + 7 months||103.3%|
|66 + 8 months||104.0%|
|66 + 9 months||104.7%|
|66 + 10 months||105.3%|
|66 + 11 months||106.0%|
|67 + 1 month||107.3%|
|67 + 2 months||108.0%|
|67 + 3 months||108.7%|
|67 + 4 months||109.3%|
|67 + 5 months||110.0%|
|67 + 6 months||110.7%|
|67 + 7 months||111.3%|
|67 + 8 months||112.0%|
|67 + 9 months||112.7%|
|67 + 10 months||113.3%|
|67 + 11 months||114.0%|
|68 + 1 month||115.3%|
|68 + 2 months||116.0%|
|68 + 3 months||116.7%|
|68 + 4 months||117.3%|
|68 + 5 months||118.0%|
|68 + 6 months||118.7%|
|68 + 7 months||119.3%|
|68 + 8 months||120.0%|
|68 + 9 months||120.7%|
|68 + 10 months||121.3%|
|68 + 11 months||122.0%|
|69 + 1 month||123.3%|
|69 + 2 months||124.0%|
|69 + 3 months||124.7%|
|69 + 4 months||125.3%|
|69 + 5 months||126.0%|
|69 + 6 months||126.7%|
|69 + 7 months||127.3%|
|69 + 8 months||128.0%|
|69 + 9 months||128.7%|
|69 + 10 months||129.3%|
|69 + 11 months||130.0%|
|70 or later||130.7%|
Early Eligibility Age
Currently, the EEA is 62 for workers and spouses; this is the earliest age at which they can claim retirement or spousal benefits. Benefits claimed between age 62 and the FRA, however, are subject to a permanent reduction for “early retirement.” When the original Social Security Act was enacted in 1935, the earliest age to receive retirement benefits was the FRA (age 65). In 1956, the eligibility age was lowered from 65 to 62 for female workers, wives, widows, and female dependent parents. This was to allow wives, who traditionally were younger than their husbands, to qualify for benefits at the same time as their husbands. Benefits for female workers and wives were subject to reduction if claimed between the ages of 62 and 65; the reduction did not apply to benefits for widows and female dependent parents.
In 1961, the eligibility age was lowered from 65 to 62 for men as well. Benefits for male workers and husbands were subject to reduction if claimed between the ages of 62 and 65; the reduction did not apply to widowers and male dependent parents. Although the eligibility age was made consistent for male and female workers, an inconsistency remained in the calculation of benefits. A man the same age as a woman needed more Social Security credits to qualify for benefits, and, if his earnings were identical to hers, usually received a lower benefit because his earnings were averaged over a longer period. This inconsistency was addressed in legislation enacted in 1972 which provided that retirement benefits would be computed the same way for men and women (the provision was fully effective for men reaching age 62 in 1975 or later).
In subsequent years, further adjustments were made to the eligibility age for surviving spouses. The eligibility age was lowered to age 60 for widows (1965), 16 age 50 for disabled widow(er)s (1967), and age 60 for widowers (1972).
Retirement Earnings Test
The decision to claim Social Security benefits before the FRA results in a permanent reduction in monthly benefits for early retirement. In addition, if a Social Security beneficiary is below the FRA and has current earnings, he or she is subject to the retirement earnings test (RET).
Stated generally, Social Security benefits are withheld partially or fully, for one or more months, if current earnings exceed specified thresholds.
There are two separate earnings thresholds (or exempt amounts) under the RET. The first (lower) threshold applies to beneficiaries who are below the FRA and will not attain the FRA during the year.
In 2019, the lower earnings threshold is $17,640. If a beneficiary has earnings that exceed the lower threshold, SSA withholds $1 of benefits for every $2 of earnings above the threshold.
The second (higher) threshold applies to beneficiaries who are below the FRA and will attain the FRA during the year.
In 2019, the higher earnings threshold is $46,920. If a beneficiary has earnings that exceed the higher threshold, SSA withholds $1 of benefits for every $3 of earnings above the threshold. The RET no longer applies beginning with the month the beneficiary attains the FRA.
In other words, once the beneficiary attains the FRA, his or her benefits are no longer subject to withholding based on earnings.
During the first year of benefit receipt, a special monthly earnings test applies. Regardless of the amount of annual earnings in the first year of benefit receipt, benefits are not withheld for any month in which earnings do not exceed a monthly exempt amount (the monthly exempt amount is equal to 1/12 of the annual exempt amount).
In 2019, the monthly exempt amounts are $1,470 ($17,640/12) and $3,910 ($46,920/12).
For example, consider a worker who claims benefits at age 62 in January 2019 and has no earnings during the year except for a consulting project that pays $20,000 in July. Although the beneficiary’s annual earnings ($20,000) exceed the annual exempt amount ($17,640), benefits are withheld only for the month of July.
The beneficiary has $0 earnings in all other months; July is the only month in which earnings exceed the monthly exempt amount ($1,470).
Benefits withheld under the RET are not “lost” on a permanent basis. When a beneficiary attains the FRA and is no longer subject to the RET, SSA automatically recalculates the benefit, taking into account any months for which benefits were partially or fully withheld under the RET.
Stated generally, there is no actuarial reduction for early retirement for any month in which benefits were partially or fully withheld under the RET. The recalculation results in a higher monthly benefit going forward.
Starting at the FRA, the beneficiary begins to recoup the value of benefits withheld under the RET; the beneficiary recoups the full value of those benefits if he or she lives to average life expectancy.
What Are the Biggest Mistakes When Claiming Social Security?
So when it comes to claiming your Social Security benefits, you want to make sure you do a strategically, just because you have so many different options.
You can start at age 62 or you can delay it all the way to age 70, or you can start claiming it’s somewhere in between. But there’s really a good strategy for every individual, it just depends on what your goals are.
And typically, Social Security tends to be one of the primary sources of retirement income for people retiring. So you want to make sure that you’re getting the maximum amount of benefit for your individual situation.
The biggest mistake that I see most of the time is people just tend to take it too early. So if you’re full retirement age is 66 and you take it at 62, you’re going to get a permanent reduction of about 25 percent – and that’s for life.
So you’ve got to be really careful about when you claim your benefits. Some people, what they think is, “OK, I’m working at a full-time job, I want to retire at 62 and maybe go do something I’m more passionate about.”
So they’re like, “OK, at 62 I’ll turn my Social Security on, I’ll work part time up until then, and then maybe later I’ll fully retire.” The issue with that is then if you’re working and earning wages prior to your full retirement age and collecting Social Security, your benefits can even further be reduced. So there are some income thresholds you want to be careful of.
If you earn wages over $17,640 while earning or taking Social Security income prior to your full retirement age, any amount over that threshold is going to be reduced one dollar for every two dollars over that amount. So be real careful when you’re thinking about claiming for Social Security benefits.
Can I Collect Social Security While Working?
Here’s a question we get a lot: “Can I collect Social Security and continue to work?” And the answer is yes.
But keep in mind, there’s going to be some complications, depending on when you take and how much you can still earn while you’re working. If you earn $17,040 and you’re below your Social Security full retirement age, there’s no concern.
However, if you’re below your full retirement age for Social Security benefits and you earn above $17,040 for 2018, there could be some payback.
For every $2 you make above that $17,040, you will have to pay back a dollar. Let’s walk through an example because, of course, this has been a little bit tricky with the way that the government set this up. Let’s say in 2018 you made $57,040.
That’s going to be above the $17,040 for 2018 if you’re below your full retirement age for Social Security. So $57,040 minus $17,040 is a $40,000 amount that is above the earnings limit. Half of the $40,000 leads to $20,000.
So let’s say you make $24,000 from Social Security, or $2,000 a month. You essentially would take the $24,000 minus the $20,000, because that’s two for one above the $17,040 limit for 2018.
That would essentially reduce your Social Security benefit to $4,000 a year. Obviously, this isn’t something that they’ve made easy or light for us.
What is the File and Suspend Strategy for Social Security?
What is the “file and suspend” strategy for Social Security? What is the “file and suspend” strategy for Social Security? For most people nearing retirement, Full Retirement Age is 66.
This is when you can collect full benefits. For each year you delay taking your benefits, the benefits increase 8% per year to age 70. For example, if you would get $2,000 a month at age 66, you would get $2,640 at age 70. At age 66 you could “file and suspend” in that you file for benefits but simultaneously “suspend” your benefits.
This would allow your spouse to draw spousal benefits based on your earnings in the meanwhile. Then at age 70, you can file to receive your benefits of $2,640 a month.
FRA is Different for a Widow or Widower
Widows and widowers can begin getting Social Security benefits at age 60, or at age 50, if disabled. Widows and widowers can take reduced benefits on one record, and then switch to full benefits on another record later.
For example, a woman can take a reduced widow’s benefit at 60 or 62, and switch to her own full retirement benefit at full retirement age.
You need to talk to Social Security about your choices, because the rules may be different for your claim.
Who Is Eligible? You are Eligible If you were married for nine months or more to someone who has passed away.
How much can you get? (Depends on four things)
- Whether the deceased spouse had begun collecting benefits
- The deceased spouse’s primary insurance amount (PIA)
- The age of the surviving spouse
- Whether the deceased spouse reached their FRA before their death
Qualifications for Social Security Spousal Benefit
Current and ex-spouses are both eligible.
You must be age 62 to file for or receive a spousal benefit.
Spouse must file for own benefits first.
Taking a spousal benefit does not reduce or change the amount spouse may receive.
How do you qualify for retirement benefits?
When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn “credits” toward Social Security benefits. The number of credits you need to get retirement benefits depends on when you were born. If you were born in 1929 or later, you need 40 credits (10 years of work).
If you stop working before you have enough credits to qualify for benefits, the credits will remain on your Social Security record. If you return to work later, you can add more credits to qualify. We can’t pay any retirement benefits until you have the required number of credits.
You can choose to keep working beyond your full retirement age. If you do, you can increase your future Social Security benefits in two ways.
Each extra year you work adds another year of earnings to your Social Security record. Higher lifetime earnings can mean higher benefits when you retire. Also, your benefit will increase a certain percentage from the time you reach full retirement age, until you start receiving benefits, or until you reach age 70.
The percentage varies depending on your year of birth. For example, if you were born in 1943 or later, we’ll add 8 percent to your benefit for each full year you delay receiving Social Security benefits beyond your full retirement age.
How do you sign up for Social Security?
You can apply for retirement benefits online at www.socialsecurity.gov, or call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Or you can make an appointment to visit any Social Security office to apply in person.
Depending on your circumstances, you’ll need some or all the documents listed below. Don’t delay in applying for benefits if you don’t have all the information. If you don’t have a document you need, we can help you get it.
Information and documents you’ll need, include:
- Your Social Security number;
- Your birth certificate;
- Your W-2 forms or self-employment tax return for last year;
- Your military discharge papers if you had military service;
- Your spouse’s birth certificate and Social Security number if they’re applying for benefits;
- Your children’s birth certificates and Social Security numbers, if you’re applying for children’s benefits;
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you (or a spouse or child applying for benefits) were not born in the United States; and
- The name of your financial institution, the routing number, and your account number for direct deposit. If you don’t have an account at a financial institution or prefer getting your benefits on a prepaid debit card, you can get a Direct Express® card. For more information, visit www.GoDirect.org
Retirement age different countries
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