2017 Brings New Changes to Full Retirement Age

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.


734 thoughts on “2017 Brings New Changes to Full Retirement Age

    • Hi, Joan. We are sorry to hear of your loss. You could be eligible for benefits based on your husband’s earnings. You can receive full benefits at full retirement age for survivors or reduced benefits as early as age 60. Since you were born in 1958, your full retirement age is 66 and 8 months. If you are disabled, you could begin receiving benefits as early as age 50 if the disability started before or within 7 years of your husband’s death. For additional information on Survivor benefits, visit our Benefits Planner: Survivors webpage. We hope this helps.

  1. My comment is to Butch 10/2018 nothing sucks worse then running into a person of your caliper when researching. My advise to you is you need not worry about who’s getting out enought, it’s people like you that don’t belong commenting on other peoples research questions & concerns. Maybe you need to get out more and just maybe your life won’t be so disappointing as well ! hows that feel??

  2. If I wait to retire at 70. Does the spousal benefit for my wife retiring at full retirement age equal 1/2 of this amount or is the spousal benefit equal to 1/2 of the amount of my full retirement benefit?

  3. I am working at the Milpitas School District as a Substitute Paraprofessional for more than 12 years and the as such the district is not including as as member of your administration. I am already 62 years old and had already contributed five(5) years from my previous employer. I wanted to know if I can continue to contribute to Social Security for me to meet the required ten (10) years to be able to get full benefits upon full retirement. Thank you.

    • Hi Felicidad, thank you for your question. You qualify for Social Security benefits by earning Social Security credits when you work in a job and pay Social Security taxes. We base Social Security credits on the amount of your earnings. We use your earnings and work history to determine your eligibility for retirement or disability benefits or your family’s eligibility for survivors benefits when you die. In 2019, you receive one credit for each $1,360 of earnings, up to the maximum of four credits per year. For more information, read our publication “How You Earn Credits“.

  4. I was told by an SS agent over a year ago via telephone call to SS that when one is on SSDI when they reach full retirement age in this case would be 66 and now 65.5 that SSDI benefits will automatically change to retirement benefits without the recipient doing anything. Is this true?

  5. I have received Disability since 2000. I received a letter today stating that I will no longer be getting my disability benefit however I would now receiving it as a retirement benefit. My question is WHY?

    • HI Angie, thank you for your question. Social Security disability benefits automatically change to retirement benefits when disability beneficiaries become full retirement age. The law does not allow a person to receive both retirement and disability benefits on one earnings record at the same time.

  6. My DoN- 16 April 1951

    I started collecting SS benefits in 2010, as survivor benefits. My husband passed away in August 2010, and I retired August 2010
    ( I was 59:-/old,. Thus when I turned 60 in April 16 2011 I started collecting husband’s benefits.).

    In September of 2018, I stopped/collecting my husbsnd’s benefits and started collecting my Social benefits Age 68.( In September 2018).

    I have been recruited to work, starting 22April 2019.. Can I continue to collect my SS while working again? Or do have to “suspend” collecting my SS. while working? Are my SS benefits affected in any way?

  7. Based on the above, full retirement for 1/2/55 through 1/1/56 is 66 and 2 months. Am I to infer that full retirement for me (my birthday is 1/1/55) is 66? I have this question because the website states 66 and 2 months for those born in 1955. This would appear to be a contradiction. Please let me know what age I should be looking at as I get closer to this milestone. Thank you.

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