2017 Brings New Changes to Full Retirement Age

January 6, 2017 • By

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Last Updated: August 19, 2021

3 elderly people siting on a stoopEvery worker’s dream is to enjoy a secure retirement. Social Security is here to secure today and tomorrow. Part of that commitment is ensuring you have the most up-to-date information when you make your retirement decisions.

As the bells ring in the New Year, they also bring changes for new Social Security retirement beneficiaries. Full retirement age is 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.

You can learn more by reading our publication, When to Start Receiving Benefits or visiting our Retirement Planner.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications


  1. XY

    The government not keeping the promise. when i started working the full retirement age was 65 and i plan accordingly. i want my social security and medicare taxes back with 12 percent interest from i started paying social security taxes. i do not want any retirement benefit from government.

    • BDCompton

      good luck !!! Let us know how that goes.

  2. Doo

    My husband who was in US pension has passed away 3 years ago and I was too young to receive his pension, as of Janusry 1, 2017 I am now 67 am I able to apply for,his pension? Does it matter if I am still working 4 days per week? Thank you.

  3. CHappy

    I started collecting Soc security benefits at 65 in April of last year I had a severance from my last job but it was not earned income but was pd in January 2016 when my last day was 12/31/2015 can we disregard it for reduced Soc Sec benefits
    Also is unemployment counted as income
    I did get a job in October 2016 and have been earning income so I know that will reduce my benefits
    Can I stop receiving Soc sec until I stop working or until I am 66 in September 2017?

    • BDCompton

      Better talk to a book keeper on that own. A CPA I mean

    • Lorelei

      My husband’s unemployment was not taxed and that is because we ELECTED for them to not take taxes out. Unemployment income is considered income and is reported to the IRS. You will pay taxes on it to the Feds when your accountant figures out your taxes. When you applied for Unempl. benefits, it specifically asked you if you wanted them to deduct taxes. Also, you cannot suspend your SS once you started to receive it. It would be nice if you could – wouldn’t we all have done that? About 7 yrs. ago you actually could stop and pay back all the SS benefits you rec’d. That has long since ceased. You can’t turn back the clock.

      • Ray F.

        To clarify, if you started receiving Social Security benefits less than 12 months ago and you changed your mind about when they should start, you may be able to withdraw your Social Security claim and re-apply at a future date. Please visit our Retirement Planner: Suspending Retirement Benefit Payments web page for more information.

  4. Mary M.

    Given the current comments by politicians regarding curbing social security benefits –
    Are there still ice flows available for seniors?

  5. Tina

    My spouse is retired civil service, he is set to draw $1,200 at 66 social security but I heard that he can only draw $200 because he is retired Civil SErvice. He is age 65 now? So confused, how does that work

    • AKA

      Call the SSA toll free number or stop by your local office and ask for a Government Pension Offset pamphlet.

    • BDCompton

      It also depends if he paid any ssi payments . Some civil service jobs its was optional

  6. Dian w.

    I was born 2/16/47 my husband 1/2/46 what were full retirement age?

  7. edward

    I was born January 6 1941. II waited until my full retirement age of 65 and 8 months before receiving SS, I was told if I waited till then I could earn as much as I wanted and not be penalized. 2015 I sold two properties and paid capital gains plus my adjusted gross income was increased and my ss was reduced by 300.00.

    • AKA

      Selling properties is passive income and that does not count as earnings in the retirement earnings test.

    • jay

      healthcare and medicare costs , and your requested deductions from your benefit are the only things that should change your ssa amount. unless you owe someone.

  8. KJ

    If I collect 1/2 of my ex-husband’s SS which is much higher than mine because I was a homemaker, and then get married, will I still be able to collect on his or will I then need to revert to my much lower SS.

    • Ray F.

      Generally, your divorced spouse’s benefits will end if you remarry.

    • Tiger

      Your benefit on your ex-spouse will end the month before you remarry unless you marry an individual that is receiving a widower’s or divorced spouse’s benefit.

  9. keith g.

    key 22 3m

  10. keith g.

    10 wall

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