Ask the Los Angeles Social Security Attorney:
What are the 2017 Changes to Social Security Retirement Age?
Every employee hopes to enjoy a financially secure retirement. But with the New Year, comes changes for Social Security retirement benefits. When you start collecting Social Security benefits dramatically impacts how much your monthly benefit will be. So, in this article, our experienced Los Angeles Social Security attorneys explain at what age you will be able to collect maximum Social Security Retirement Benefits.
A person may start receiving Social Security benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. But the longer you wait, the higher your monthly benefit will be. In other words, if you collect your benefits before what is called “full retirement age” – your monthly benefit will be reduced.
What Does Social Security “Full Retirement Age” Mean?
Full retirement age is the age at which a worker becomes entitled to full Social Security retirement benefits – without having them reduced. The full Social Security retirement age had previously been 65 for many years.
However, beginning with people born in 1938, “full retirement age” has been gradually increasing. Now, the full benefit age is 66 for people born in 1943-1954. And under the current changes, it will keep increasing until it will reach age 67 for individuals born in 1960 and later. And, as the full age eligible to collect Social Security Retirement benefits continues to increase, the reduction in benefits if you claim them before you reach full retirement age also gets larger.
People born between January 2, 1955 and January 1, 1956 will be turning 62 this year. So these individuals are eligible to receive permanently reduced retirement benefits when they turn 62 in 2017. If they want to wait until “full retirement age” in order to collect non-reduced benefits, they will have to wait until they are 66 and two months,
But if they go ahead and apply for benefits in 2017 at age 62, their monthly benefit amount will be reduced nearly 26 percent.
When is My Social Security “Full Retirement Age”?
Because this change in full retirement age is being implemented gradually, there is no one set “full retirement age.” To find your own full retirement age, our experienced Los Angeles Social Security attorneys have put together the following chart:
Born 1943-1954: Full Social Security retirement age is 66.
Born in 1957: Full Social Security retirement age is 66 and 6 months.
Born in 1958: Full Social Security retirement age is 66 and 8 months.
Born in 1959: Full Social Security retirement age is 66 and 10 months.
Born in 1960 or later: Full Social Security retirement age is 67.
Remember, your monthly benefits are reduced permanently if you start to collect them any time before full retirement age stated in the above chart.
Social Security Survivors’ Benefits & Retirement Age
Additionally, if a person dies their full retirement date will also affect any survivors’ payment to their surviving widow or widower. If a person started receiving retirement benefits before full retirement age, Social Security will not pay the surviving spouse their full retirement age benefit amount. In other words, Social Security bases the survivor’s benefit on the amount of the deceased spouse’s reduced benefits.
Also keep in mind that this article reflects the current law at the time if this writing. Given the massive changes being rapidly implemented by the Trump administration, it is unclear what changes to these laws and/or eligibility dates will be made in the future.
If you have questions about how current Social Security laws and regulations apply to your unique situation, you should always call the Social Security Administration or consult with one of our experienced Los Angeles Area Social Security Attorneys.
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