Getting Your Financial Ducks In A Row Rotating Header Image

Social Security Full Retirement Age – Explained

full retirement age has nothing to do with a lone tree in a field.The Full Retirement Age, or FRA (gotta love Social Security 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, Full Retirement Age was always age 65.

Then, in 1983 the Social Security Act was amended, and one of the significant changes was to increase 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 Full Retirement Age 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, because when you’re born on the first of any month, SSA determines your birth month to be the month prior to your actual birth date.

Photo by Jule_Berlin


  1. […] rates continue until the projected ages.  First are your Retirement Benefits – at Full Retirement Age (your FRA will be listed), at age 70, and at your early retirement age of 62 (if you’re not […]

  2. […] or survivors benefits and continue working.  If you happen to be less than Full Retirement Age (FRA) and you earn more than the earnings test, your benefit will be reduced.  (Note: these reductions […]

  3. […] PIA.  The ½ benefit is provided if the spouse has filed for benefits at FRA (Full Retirement Age).  If filing for the spousal benefit at age 62, the spousal benefit will be equal […]

  4. […] The Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) is the projected amount of Social Security retirement benefits that you will receive if you file for benefits at exactly your Full Retirement Age – FRA, in Social Security Administration parlance.  (see this article for information about determining your FRA). […]

  5. […] Full Retirement Age (FRA) – this is the age at which your Social Security benefit is equal to your PIA. The age is 66 for folks born between 1946 and 1954. FRA increases by 2 months for each birth year after 1954, up to a (current) maximum of 67 for those born in 1960 or later. For each month before this age that you file for benefits, your benefit will be reduced from the PIA amount; for each month after this age that you delay filing, your benefit is increased from the PIA amount. […]

  6. […] must be at or older than Full Retirement Age (FRA) to file a restricted […]

  7. […] you’re delaying benefits past your full retirement age (FRA), you can start receiving benefits at any age after FRA up to age 70. So, for example, if you […]

  8. […] reader communications.  Too often there is a pat answer that the Spousal Benefit, if taken at FRA (Full Retirement Age) is always 50% of the other spouse’s PIA (Primary Insurance Amount).  This is not always the […]

  9. […] 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 […]

  10. […] 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). […]

  11. […] 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 […]

  12. […] 8% for every year that you delay receiving benefits after your Full Retirement Age (FRA – see this article for an […]

Get involved!

%d bloggers like this: