What is the Full Retirement Age (FRA)? How much in Social Security benefits are you likely to get if you start collecting benefits at age 65, 66, 67, or 70? We can help answer these questions. In this post, we will explain the Social Security Full Retirement Age and provide a chart by year, so that you can find your FRA based on your birth year.
Additionally, we will provide details on what happens to your benefits if you collect Social Security before your FRA.
Lastly, we will answer the question of whether you can work while collecting Social Security and how much you can make without affecting your benefits.
Table of Contents:
- What Is Social Security Full Retirement Age?
- Find Your Full Retirement Age
- What happens when you Collect Social Security Early?
- Can I work and collect Social Security?
What Is Social Security Full Retirement Age?
Full retirement age, or FRA, is the age when you are entitled to 100 percent of your Social Security benefits.
Depending on the year you were more, your Social Security full retirement age is between age 65 and 67.
Claiming Social Security benefits before the full retirement age will lower your monthly payments.
You can increase your retirement benefits by waiting past your FRA to retire.
Find Your Full Retirement Age
The table below shows the full retirement age based on the year you were born:
|Age to receive full Social Security benefits|
|Year of birth||Full retirement age|
|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 and later||67|
NOTE: People born on January 1 of any year, refer to the previous year.
What is the Average Retirement Age in the U.S.?
According to CNBC, in 2000, the average age at which people retired was roughly 61 or 62.
However, in 2020, two decades later, it’s around 66.
This means that people are working longer and retiring later, closer to their Social Security Full Retirement Age.
What happens when you Collect Social Security Early?
You can start receiving your Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62.
However, receiving benefits before your full retirement age will means you will permanently receive a lower benefit amount, compared to what you would have received if you waited to start collecting benefits at your full retirement age.
Social Security at Age 62
The table below shows the effect of early retirement on Social Security benefits for both a retired worker and his/her spouse if they start collecting benefits at age 62.
For this illustration, a Social Security benefit amount of $1,000 at Full Retirement is used.
|Normal (or full)
|1937 or earlier||65||36||$800||20.00%||$375||25.00%|
|1938||65 and 2 months||38||791||20.83%||370||25.83%|
|1939||65 and 4 months||40||783||21.67%||366||26.67%|
|1940||65 and 6 months||42||775||22.50%||362||27.50%|
|1941||65 and 8 months||44||766||23.33%||358||28.33%|
|1942||65 and 10 months||46||758||24.17%||354||29.17%|
|1955||66 and 2 months||50||741||25.83%||345||30.83%|
|1956||66 and 4 months||52||733||26.67%||341||31.67%|
|1957||66 and 6 months||54||725||27.50%||337||32.50%|
|1958||66 and 8 months||56||716||28.33%||333||33.33%|
|1959||66 and 10 months||58||708||29.17%||329||34.17%|
|1960 and later||67||60||700||30.00%||325||35.00%|
As you can see from the table above, depending on the year you were born, you’ll receive between 20 and 30 percent less per month if you collect Social Security benefits at age 62 than if you wait until full retirement age to begin collecting benefits.
Can I work and collect Social Security?
Yes. You can get Social Security retirement benefits and work at the same time.
However, if you are younger than full retirement age and make more than the yearly earnings limit, Social Security will reduce your benefit.
This limit is referred to as the Social Security income limit.
Therefore, if you start taking Social Security benefits early (before your full retirement age) and keep working, as long as your income from working is below the Social Security income limits, there is no reduction in benefits.
However, if the money you earn from working exceeds the income limit, then your Social Security benefits will be reduced. Here’s how:
For 2022, Social Security will deduct $1 of every $2 you earn over $19,560 if you are under your full retirement age.
During the year you reach full retirement age, it will deduct $1 for every $3 you earn over $51,960 until the month you reach full retirement age.
After that, you’ll receive your entire benefit.
The yearly earnings limit is revised every year and adjusted for inflation, similar to the annual Social Security Benefits increase (COLA).
Social Security Full Retirement Age Summary
Here’s the bottom line:
If you collect Social Security early and earn income from work that exceeds the income limit, Social Security will deduct $1 from your benefit payments for every $2 you earn above the annual limit.
For 2022, that limit is $19,560.
In the year you reach full retirement age, Social Security will deduct $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn above a different limit.
In 2022, this limit on your earnings is $51,960.
If you still have questions, you should leave a comment below.
However, what may be an even greater help is to join our FREE Facebook members group about Making Sense of Social Security Benefits.
It’s a very active group with some really smart people who love to answer any questions you may have about Social Security Benefits.
Also, from time to time, our team of editors drop in to contribute and answer questions.
Finally, be sure to check out our other articles about Social Security and Disability Benefits, including: