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. mpgk

    superb post absolutely correct. Thank you very much for this blog post.

  2. changes

    brings new changes

  3. Edward G.

    Do I need to register for SS at age 62 if I am not going to start drawing until age 65 1/2?

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Edward, thanks for using our blog. You don’t need to register until you’re ready to begin your benefits. Once you are ready to apply for benefits, our system is set up to take retirement applications four months in advance. When you’re ready, you can apply for your benefits online.

  4. Sana K.

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  5. Maria C.

    Are there other benefits that a person already claiming SS benefits can claim due to being diagnosed as legally blind? Age 88, receiving SS pension and military pension

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Maria, thanks for using our blog. When a person has reached their full retirement age (Currently 66) and is receiving Social Security retirement, they are no longer eligible for disability benefits.

  6. Lia K.

    people are learn the thing form the peopel who are very good in nature

  7. Cynthia J.

    I recently read an article stating that if you have taken early retirement benefits, that when you reach your full retirement age (mine is 66 +2 months)we are allowed to have our benefit amount redetermined and calculated. There was something mentioned about a new law or policy which would enable us to find out how much more we’d be entitled to receive in monthly retirement benefits. Is this a true fact in effect? I took early retirement at age 62. My monthly amount is very low, way below the poverty level. So when I turned 65, I applied for SSI low income for seniors and was approved. If I’m allowed to have my retirement reassessed at full retirement age, how will that affect the SSI that I am receiving? Or will it? Would appreciate any info about this. Thank you.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Cynthia. Thanks for your questions. Your payment amount is based on when you decide to start your benefits. If you choose to get benefits before full retirement age, they will be reduced. The amount you receive when you first get benefits sets the base for the amount you will receive for the rest of your life. If you have additional questions specific to your benefits, please call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., for assistance. We hope this helps.

  8. glen d.

    I want to find out how much money I can make a year.
    for years, 64 and 65. Or are they the same.

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Glen, thanks for using our blog. The amount you’re allowed to earn while receiving benefits depends on your age. If you attain full retirement age (66) in 2020, the earnings limit is $48,600 but we only count earnings before the month you reach full retirement age. Beginning with the month you reach full retirement age, earnings no longer reduce your benefits, no matter how much you earn. If you’re under full retirement age for the entire year, then we deduct $1 from benefit payments for every $2 earned above the annual limit. For 2020, that limit is $18,240. Visit our Retirement Planner: Getting Benefits While Working and our Retirement Earnings Test Calculator.

  9. deborah a.

    The Agent Orange Lawsuit provides that that all compensation paid due to surviving children and spouse are not to be counted for eligibility on any federally funded program. I did not find any reference in the SSA rules that describe how this court order is to be implemented with respect to SSA retirement benefits for spouses. For example: decedent worker received SSA benefits prior to early death associated with AgentOrange exposure. Yet no SSA rules describe the disregard of that early SSA payment in relation to the reduction of SSA benefits for the widows retirement computation on the deceased (Agent Orange related death)workers calculated retirement benefit. The issue is not addressed as it pertains to the Agent Orange Lawsuit that provides for compensation exemptions for surviving spouses (and eligible children) for all federally funded programs. A copy of that lawsuit is on the VA website.

  10. russell b.

    My wife had applied several yrs ago 7-8 yrs ago ,what happen in the letter it stated she was found to have a disabilty ,but at this time she would not be able to collect ss disabilty the reason was she didnt have i guess enough credits she hardly worked then was told that i the spouse would not qualifie because I made a little over the limit this was said by case worker helping my wife .we let it go all these yrs ,but now she is 62 still with disability and im out of job due to coronaa virus even if i go bachk i will have short hr lot less money what can we do reapply for disability or ssi and can i apply also doer that effect my retirement if my wife is approved for eighter

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Russell, thank you for using our blog to ask your question. If you’re asking about Social Security retirement benefits, you may start receiving benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. Monthly benefits are reduced if you start them any time before your “full retirement age”. Your full retirement age depends on your date of birth. It may be between age 66 and 67. This could affect the amount of your benefits and when you want the benefits to start.

      The Benefits Planner: Retirement provides detailed information about Social Security retirement benefits and how to apply.

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