CRR: 70 Should be the New Retirement Age for Social Security

Age 70 has become the new 65 for claiming Social Security in terms of lifetime benefit levels, finds a new retirement research brief examining the entitlement program’s structure.

Under current law, retirees can opt to claim Social Security benefits as early as age 62, while the official age has been moved from 65 to 66 and will eventual rise still further to 67. 

“In the early 1970s, Congress introduced the Delayed Retirement Credit, which increased monthly benefits for those who claimed after the so-called Full Retirement Age of 65. That credit, which was modest at first, now fully compensates for delayed claiming,” explains Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College in an October brief. “As a result, lifetime benefits are roughly equal for any claiming age between 62 and 70, and the highest monthly benefits are available at 70.”

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Rising deductions for Medicare and greater benefit taxation have reduced Social Security’s net replacement rates, making a wait until age 70 appear appropriate, according to the brief’s key findings. 

But while the shift should be doable for many workers, considering increases in longevity, health, and education, the CRR says, vulnerable workers who are forced to claim early will have lower benefits and will be particularly harmed by any further cuts to the Social Security program. 

“Eliminating the Full Retirement Age would dramatically clarify Social Security’s benefit structure,” Munnell concludes in the brief. “It would clearly signal that claiming at age 70 provides the appropriate benefit and would encourage people to work longer.”

Read the full brief

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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  • Social Security is NOT an entitlement – it is insurance that we have paid into for all of our working years! There is no reason to up the age of retirement – the fund is not broken and has trillions of dollars available. Raise the cap on deductions (I believe the figure is now 113,000 – earnings above that are not considered for payments into social security) and we are good to go into the future.

    Thinking that everyone can work until 70 is absurd. Many jobs that require physical work simply become to difficult for people as they age –

    This is a terrible article and an even worse suggestion. I thought this site was oriented to helping seniors not trying to tear apart the safety net.

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