What is the normal retirement age at which I can start receiving Social Security?


Normal, or full, retirement age varies between 65 and 67, depending on the year in which you were born, according to federal Social Security regulations. Nevertheless, you can start receiving Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62.

There are two major factors that Social Security benefits are based on: the amount of money you have earned during your employment history, and the exact age at which you choose to start receiving your retirement income.

Social Security Administration has determined full retirement age for each year in which you might have been born (see the table below).

Year of Birth Normal Retirement Age
1937 or earlier 65
1938 65 and two months
1939 65 and 4 months
1940 65 and a half
1941 65 and eight months
1942 65 and 10 months
1943 - 1954 66
1955 66 and two months
1956 66 and 4 months
1957 66 and a half
1958 66 and eight months
1959 66 and ten months
1960 and later 67

If you decide to retire at 62, you can still start receiving Social Security retirement benefits but they will be reduced proportionately to the time left until reaching your normal retirement age. This is how the Social Security benefit reduction works, if you were born after 1960 and your full retirement age is 67:

  • At age 62 the reduction will be 30%;
  • At age 63 the reduction will be 25%;
  • At age 64 the reduction will be 20%;
  • The reduction at age 65 will be roughly 13%;
  • The reduction at age 66 will be between 6 an 7 percent.

Not until you reach 67, will you start receiving the full Social Security benefit, if you were born in 1960 or later.

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