2017 Brings New Changes to Full Retirement Age

January 6, 2017 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

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. James D.

    I went to the office to apply for DISABILITY at 62! They didn’t tell that you WOULDN’T collect DISABILITY the whole time! They signed me up for REGULAR SS so I took it . Four months later they called and said I had received my disability! I thought you had to get a lawyer for that! I’ve got a heart problem and couldn’t work ANYMORE but like I said 4 months later they said I received DISABILITY! I thought great because it was 400 more a month! But I didn’t know that benefits change after I turn my full retirement age in about a year and a half! They didnt tell me that! How will that effect my benefit amount!

    • Vonda V.

      Hi James, thank you for your question. Your Social Security disability benefits will automatically change to retirement benefits when you 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. The dollar amount of your benefit will not change. We hope this helps.

  2. Yehuda

    How are you acquaintances mea I really liked your publication 2020

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  5. Gayla B.

    I was born Jan 1.1955
    Dies that mean my full retirement would be dec12109?

    • Luis A.

      Hi Gayla. Persons who were born in 1955, their full retirement age is when they turn 66 and 2 month. To find out more about full retirement age, please visit our retirement age calculator. We hope this helps.

  6. Romeo p.

    my question is I retire of age 63 in my full retire is 65 now I m already 70 but still working and still contributing to Social Security my question is they can give the full retirement benefit now that iam already 70 can I get the full retirement

  7. michael r.

    I had thought you could start receiving full benefits, if qualified at 66 years old., during the year before, so you could start receiving full 66 year old benefit at 65 and a day. did this change? thanks

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Michael. Full retirement age is the age at which a person may first become entitled to full or unreduced retirement benefits. The 1983 Social Security Amendments included a provision for raising the full retirement age beginning with people born in 1938 or later. The Congress cited improvements in the health of older people and increases in average life expectancy as primary reasons for increasing the normal retirement age. For more information, visit here. We hope this helps.

  8. Muriel

    Do I have to contact Social Security at 641/2, WHY? I just turned 64 1/2 and everyone tells me to contact SSI.

  9. DONNA S.

    iM 69 YEARS OLD AND STILL WORKING!!!! WHY ARE THEY STILL TAKING SOCIAL SECURITY OUT OF MY CHECK WHERE IS IT??? CAN I DRAW MORE THAN $750 I have been working since I was 16 and my mother was drawing $1000 my disabled son who passed away year before last was drawing $1000. Whats the deak?????

  10. Nyla J.

    I have reported to SSA that I have went back to work. They sent me a notice of change in my benefits saying that I had already received to much SS. I agree and I owe per the letter 644.00. How do I pay it?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Nyla. For your security, we do not have access to information about your account. We ask that members in our Blog community refer to their local office on specific questions about their case. To make a payment arrangement, you should speak with a representative. You can also call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and speak to one of our representatives, who are available Monday through Friday between 7:00a.m. and 7:00p.m. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call later in the day. We hope this helps!

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