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Social Security Full Retirement Age – Explained

lone tree by Jule_BerlinThe Full Retirement Age, or FRA (gotta love the government for their acronyms!), is a key figure for the individual who is planning to receive Social Security retirement benefits.  Back in the olden days, when Social Security was first dreamed up, FRA was always age 65.

Then, in 1983 the Social Security Act was amended to make changes to the FRA.  Beginning with folks born in 1938, the FRA would be increased (see table below).  And for folks born in 1960 and beyond, FRA is age 67 (as of this writing!) but don’t expect this figure to remain constant.  Increasing the FRA is one way to reduce the cost of the overall program, which is a constant concern for the government since this program amounts to more than half a trillion dollars in payout every year.

What’s interesting is that, even though the FRA has been increasing, the “early” retirement and “late” retirement ages have remained the same, at 62 and 70, respectively.  I suspect at some stage those ages may be adjusted as well, all in the name of fiscal responsibility…

Year of Birth FRA
1937 or before 65
1938 65 and 2 months
1939 65 and 4 months
1940 65 and 6 months
1941 65 and 8 months
1942 65 and 10 months
1943-1954 66
1955 66 and 2 months
1956 66 and 4 months
1957 66 and 6 months
1958 66 and 8 months
1959 66 and 10 months
1960 or later 67

Note: persons born on January 1 of any year should refer to the FRA for the previous year.

Photo by Jule_Berlin
Social Security Owner's ManualThe latest edition of A Social Security Owner's Manual, 2013 Edition, can be purchased by clicking this link. If you'd prefer the Kindle version (and let's face it, ALL the cool kids do!), you can find that at this Kindle version link.

4 Comments

  1. […] if you delay filing for one or the other until later.  If you are at least at Full Retirement Age (FRA, age 66 if born in 1954 or before, increasing to age 67 if born in 1960 or later), more than likely […]

  2. [...] In determining your retirement benefits from Social Security, as well as those of any dependents who may claim benefits based upon your record, the Primary Insurance Amount, or PIA, is an important factor.  The PIA is the amount of benefit that you would receive if you began receiving benefits at exactly your Full Retirement Age, or FRA. (see this article for information about determining your FRA). [...]

  3. [...] or survivors benefits and continue working.  If you happen to be less than Full Retirement Age (FRA) and you earn more than certain amounts though, your benefit will be reduced.  (Note: these [...]

  4. [...] 8% for every year that you delay receiving benefits after your Full Retirement Age (FRA – see this article for an [...]

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