While a retiree can begin claiming his or her Social Security benefits at age 62, payments at that age will be reduced for anyone seeking them before full retirement age. As of January 1, for many Americans full retirement age does not begin until someone reaches age 66, but also not right at the birthday, either. This is according to a report published by U.S. News and World Report.
“The full retirement age used to be 65 for those born in 1937 or earlier,” the report reads. “Those born between 1943 and 1954 have a full retirement age of 66. The full retirement age further increases in two-month increments each year to 66 and 10 months for those born in 1959, up from 66 and 8 months for those with a birth year of 1958.”
The full retirement age is expected to continue to increase according to Jim Blaur, a former Social Security administrator and lead consultant at Premier Social Security Consulting based in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“Full retirement age for those who attain age 62 in 2021, born in 1959, will be age 66 and 10 months,” Blair tells U.S. News. “The full retirement age will further increase until it hits 67 for everyone born in 1960 or later,” the article explains based on Blair’s input.
A common tactic for enhancing Social Security payments is to wait until reaching full retirement age. The reduction in benefits for those claiming right at age 62 will be larger for people who have an older retirement age, according to Social Security expert and author Andy Landis.
“If you turn 62 in 2021, your full retirement age is 66 and 10 months. You get less if you start early or more if you delay until later,” Landis tells U.S. News. “Starting at 62 in 2021 gets you a 70.83% payment for life. Every month you delay Social Security up to age 70 gets you a higher monthly payment for life.”
The latest estimates for the Social Security trust fund continue to forecast a depletion by 2035, and the state of the fund has only become further strained due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Additional action on the part of lawmakers is likely needed to address some of the economic shortfall present in the Social Security program, such as the Time to Rescue United States Trusts (TRUST) Act legislation sponsored in 2020 by Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah).
Forward momentum on Romney’s legislation has not occurred in the intervening months since his proposal was introduced, but action on entitlement programs could potentially move forward under the direction of the new Congress after two senators-elect are sworn in later this month.
Read the report at U.S. News.