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Volume XXXI
Summer / Fall


New Changes to Full Retirement Age

by Jim Borland
Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Social Security

Every worker’s dream is to enjoy a secure retirement. Social Security is here to help secure today and tomorrow by updating you on new changes that occurred this year.

This past January full retirement age for new beneficiaries turned 66 and two months for people born 01/02/1955 through 01/01/1956. They are eligible to receive permanently reduced retirement benefits when they turn 62 in 2017.

Full retirement age is the age at which a person first becomes entitled to full (unreduced) retirement benefits. It had been 65 for many years. However, beginning with people born in 1938 that age has been gradually increasing until it reaches 67 for people born in 1960 and later.

As the full retirement age continues to increase, there are greater reductions in benefits if you claim them before you reach full retirement age. For example, if you apply for benefits in 2017 at age 62, your monthly benefit amount will be reduced nearly 26 percent. You can find your full retirement age, along with other important information, on our website (


Some things you must remember when you’re thinking about retirement:

  1. You may start receiving Social Security benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the higher your monthly benefit will be.
  2. Your monthly benefits are reduced permanently if you start them any time before full retirement age.
  3. If you die, your retirement date can affect the payment to your surviving widow or widower. If you started receiving retirement benefits before full retirement age, we cannot pay your surviving spouse their full retirement age benefit amount. We base their benefit on the amount of your reduced benefits.
  4. If you elect to receive benefits before you reach full retirement age, you should understand how continuing to work affects your benefits.
Learn more by reading our publication, When to Start Receiving Benefits or visiting our Retirement Planner.