2017 Brings New Changes to Full Retirement Age

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.


120 thoughts on “2017 Brings New Changes to Full Retirement Age

  1. I am 70, but I started drawing social security before my retirement age, due to disability. Would my disability benefits count against my survivor benefits. I did not elect receiving benefits (disability) I was forced to do it???

    • Natour,

      Getting disability is practically the same as if you had filed for retirement at age 66. It is basically an unreduced benefit.
      For people who file for retirement and disability at the same time – the retirement portion of the application would process first and payment would begin at a reduced rate based on the age of the applicant. If the disability were eventually allowed – the benefit would be adjusted to reflect payment for disability. The adjustment would go into effect after the date of onset and the 5 or 6 month waiting period for disability benefits.

      • If disability did not start until AFTER retirement benefits were paid, there would be a permanent reduction applied to the disability for the months retirement was paid first. You only avoid an age reduction if the disability precedes or coincides with the start of retirement benefits. This is why you contact SSA and not rely on friends and family who may only have part of the picture.

  2. If you were born in 1950, your full retirement age is 66.
    That is the same year my husband was born and he is now at full retirement age and collecting.

  3. they fix it to were your so old and in bad shape most people want live long enough to drawl much of it but that’s what they hoping for

    • If you were to work at being more healthy like my 68 year old wife and me at 74 yeas in great condition. The whole system is set up based on the probabilities of life span in the actuarity tables.

      • But if you saved and invested all your life as we have gov makes you take min distribute the taxes you 34%
        or as it has for us is SS just covers our income tax. and now gov talking about you being means tested. So if your smart get on welfare

  4. I was born January 2, 1955 and my full retirement is age 66 and 2 months and I am currently employed full time. My question is this: my husband passed away January 22, 2016 will this change my full retirement pay?

      • As a widow you can start collecting at the age of 50, but that will be reduced because it’s not at your full retirement age.

        • You can only collect Survivor Benefits at 50 IF you’re disabled. I became widowed at 47 and had to wait until my 60th birthday, because I’m not disabled. If you remarry before age 60, you’re not eligible, but if you remarry after 60 years of age and you’re collecting, you will have no reduction to your benefit.

  5. I am 70 1/2 and receive the maximum retirement amount. My wife is 59 . Should I die tomorrow will my wife receive my benefit being she is 59? Thanks

  6. My husband passed in 2014 and was receiving his social security. I was receiving mine also. I went to Social Security to see if I could still draw any of his social security since I was left with a lot of unpaid bills and was told no. They said because I drew a little more than him I would not be eligible..it didn’t matter how many bills I had to pay. Is this correct or is there any way out of this?

      • From my readings my understanding is that you re ceive the higher of the two amts not both. Since yours was higher, that is the amt you get. If his had been higher, then they would have switched you to his. SS was never meant to cover your full retirement, that is why people are encouraged to save for retirement.

    • You take the highest, so yours was more than his. We all have bills, so why should you get two checks from social security?

  7. The title of the article says “2017 Brings New Changes to Full Retirement Age”, but I don’t see anything in the article that is new.

    What specifically has changed?

    • Nothing has changed. The title on the article was misleading perhaps to get people to read it or to get the folks worked up, who knows?

    • Full retirement age is 66 and two months for people born 01/02/1955 through 01/01/1956. You’re still eligible to receive permanently reduced retirement benefits when you turn 62 in 2017.

  8. If I collect 1/2 of my ex-husband’s SS which is much higher than mine because I was a homemaker, and then get married, will I still be able to collect on his or will I then need to revert to my much lower SS.

  9. I was born January 6 1941. II waited until my full retirement age of 65 and 8 months before receiving SS, I was told if I waited till then I could earn as much as I wanted and not be penalized. 2015 I sold two properties and paid capital gains plus my adjusted gross income was increased and my ss was reduced by 300.00.

    • healthcare and medicare costs , and your requested deductions from your benefit are the only things that should change your ssa amount. unless you owe someone.

  10. My spouse is retired civil service, he is set to draw $1,200 at 66 social security but I heard that he can only draw $200 because he is retired Civil SErvice. He is age 65 now? So confused, how does that work

  11. Given the current comments by politicians regarding curbing social security benefits –
    Are there still ice flows available for seniors?

  12. I started collecting Soc security benefits at 65 in April of last year I had a severance from my last job but it was not earned income but was pd in January 2016 when my last day was 12/31/2015 can we disregard it for reduced Soc Sec benefits
    Also is unemployment counted as income
    I did get a job in October 2016 and have been earning income so I know that will reduce my benefits
    Can I stop receiving Soc sec until I stop working or until I am 66 in September 2017?

  13. My husband who was in US pension has passed away 3 years ago and I was too young to receive his pension, as of Janusry 1, 2017 I am now 67 am I able to apply for,his pension? Does it matter if I am still working 4 days per week? Thank you.

  14. The government not keeping the promise. when i started working the full retirement age was 65 and i plan accordingly. i want my social security and medicare taxes back with 12 percent interest from i started paying social security taxes. i do not want any retirement benefit from government.

  15. Your statement ” 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.” Is this statement based on the surviving spouse drawing on the benefits of the deceased? My spouse hasn’t worked enough quarters to receive benefits on her own. I believe she can receive benefits and half my rate on my account. is that correct? If I pass before her does that rate go up to the benefit I was receiving at time of death?

  16. I started recieving S.S. in Dec. 2016 i will turn 62 in June of this year..Am i eligible for full or reduced benefits when i turn 62 years old ???

    • if SS means social security, then it must be disability. Your benefit will not change because you are at your full benefit level already. you don’t get both

  17. I am still working and is planning to continue to work until I am 70. I was drawing Disability but now they are saying since I am 66 (was born 11/04/1950) I am drawing full retirement. But if I keep working will my benefits go up because of still putting in for Social Security taxes which I pay 2 weeks?

  18. This all smells all wrong, you can not change the rules in the middle of the game to suit you. We all play by the same rules so let’s make some up. The cost to live on. How much does it take a man and women to live on when they both are retired 65 or ,66, let’s not get into months unless it’s 6 months, OK ! So it will be 66 and 6 months. Good number right. OK now no one who has over 900,000.00 dollars, that’s nine hundred thousand dollars in the bank will not be in the SS ring of rings . 2200.00 apiece for men and 2500.00 a month for women.. they need a little more.


  20. born 03/23/37. I stated investing same amount as was with held from pay checks (starting in 1953 DRIP’S) I now get more in dividends Then S.S. pays, should have bought more muni’s, results now Gov. Takes a lot in taxes plus I have to pay income tax on my S.S.

  21. the dirty politicians robbed 2.6 trillion from the fund do you think its going to get paid back we should take it from there fund fair is fair

  22. Eventhough I paid $120K in taxes everybody felt i am burden on government and family. i am collecting disability. i am hearing the voices and it is toucher to me. i feel that instead of i paid ssi if government kept money in seperate account like 401 k and private disability insurance then nobody would have problem or jealous on me. i try to comitt sucide 5 times because of it. one family save me. i donot have any thoughts to harm anybody. i would have atleast $300k in my account plus i would have got more in disability benefit and health benefit. i would have never worry about loosing my benefits.

  23. I have been divorced twice, each marriage was over 10 years long. One, 23 years long. I am now single and plan on remaining so. When I am of qualifying retirement age, could I claim SS retirement benefits from either or both of my former spouses and if only one, which one…? Or does it matter, and is it contingent on when he/they apply to receive their SS retirement benefits?

  24. what money social security paid me for disability would have been cost me only $2 month in private company and i would have got more money and i paid $120k in ssi and medicare taxes. i never worry about loosing a benefit, family and listening to people jealous on me for taking a disability benefits. i would have better insurance plus money in my retirement account as well as disability money.

  25. If you didn’t work during your lifetime chances are you’ll get more in SSI than most people that have worked 35 years or more. Sad, but so true.

    • The average retirement benefit paid is $1,180.80, while SSI pays only a maximum of $735.00. In addition, SSI payments are reduced for any other income received, even gifts, while Social Security retirement benefits are not, unless you are working, under the full retirement age, and have annual earnings that exceed $16,920 this year. Also, Social Security retirement benefits can also provide benefits for auxiliary family members and eligible survivors, while SSI provides no family or survivor entitlement.

  26. It’s all bull. I’m 66 & have to wait until the middle of the month for payment yet people collecting SSI who have never put a dime in get a check on the 1st plus food stamps etc. young people with bogus diagnosis of ailments. Speech defects, anger problems, & more nonsense. Drawing on the system. It’s easy to give away other peoples money and interest earned .

    • Sure you were told you benefit would be paid, on or near your birthday. If you know of someone involved in fraudulent activity, why do you not do you civil duty and, file a complaint with the SS office, or the US attorney.?

  27. OASI has a problem with bothy supply and demand in that they seem to force people over the age of 70 to receive maximum benefits although they continue to have high incomes they do not even pay OASDI taxes on and pay very little to nothing for the poor whose demand for an adequate standard of living is not insured until age 65 when they become eligible for SSI and Medicaid. Paying too much to rich people, who evade taxation by OASDI on all their income, before they actually retire or need more money to pay the bills, at age 70, is tantamount to robbing the poor who receive OASI benefits less than SSI $733 (2016). Maybe $733 (2016) should be the minimum OASDI benefit for the working rich at age 70 and the poor.

    People get drafted President at age 70 because Baby boomers are so unaccountable for child welfare, civilly, economically and politically due to tyranny of the majority and national delinquency under the Slavery Convention of 1926, with whom WWII is better than Vietnam for attempting to evade and defeat the taxes of a civilian, but Baby Boomer plagiarized generation x that threatens to take away your boom boom. Baby Boomer just can’t count higher than me, a poorer rich man than Donald Trump’s two skyscrapers filled with computer processors equals the computing capacity of the human brain (except Baby Boomers who drop pennies from the top of the building). I, a generation x disinherited homeless person, on the other hand was plagiarized for two skyscrapers and find them to be stupider than a properly used computer that I agree is much less powerful processor than the human mind traditionally expressed in writing that the computer is really good at processing. The Internet might be safer than the library these days.

    Rich people begin paying for the Medicare Ponzi scheme at age 65. Maybe they and other rich people should continue to pay after Medicare is abolished for the extortionate premiums of 2016 and 2017 and social security beneficiary health is insured for free by Medicaid, but if there is one thing the government could do to spare rich old people it is to stop robbing them with health insurance premium inflation and treat them with Medicaid like everyone who was ever ripped off by the 2.9% HI tax. Out-of-pocket medical expenses drive elder poverty up from 9% to 16%. Men who retire tend to sit on the couch until they die without someone to pay them to work = force x distance. Women, maybe because they are better cooks, and maybe because their old bones tolerate body fat and disability better than men, do much better in retirement and many retire early and spend half their life on social security, like me, a male disability beneficiary, whose ten year survival was dependent on passing the Marine Corp physical fitness test (PFT) 50-100 crunches, push-ups and 3 mile run everyday to keep Hospitals & Asylums two hundred and five year history away.

    Please use your Baby Boomer seniority in the computer age to end to the war of attrition regarding an annual 3% COLA and 3% raise in federal minimum being needed to compete with 2.7% average annual inflation by passing the Social Security Amendments of January 1, 2016-17 http://www.title24uscode.org/ss2017.htm

  28. Disability insurance benefits are paid as though the beneficiary attained full retirement age when he or she started receiving disability benefits. This benefit amount should not change over time except for cost-of-living increases, and it should not change when the benefit is automatically converted to a retirement benefit when the beneficiary attains full retirement age. If your benefits were actually reduced when your benefits were converted to retirement benefits, you should contact Social Security for an explanation.

  29. I see many comments here that seem critical of Social Security for merely carrying out the laws passed by Congress and signed by the President. If you think something about the program is unfair, such as the requirement that Social Security can only pay someone the higher of two benefits, you shouldn’t waste this resource on those complaints but send them to the responsible entity, Congress.

  30. It is amazing to me how ignorant most people are about their social security benefits in even the most basic form. This is precisely why Congress is eyeing reducing “aka modernizing” benefits for everyone to solve the funding problem. The vast majority of taxpayers are clueless. Get with it people—educate yourselves about Social Security before it is too late.

  31. The article title is -2017 Brings New Changes to Full Retirement Age. I did not read every word, but what are the changes being made in 2017?

  32. Most of the responses do not indicate if the comment is from SSA officially or an individual. If the SSA person would identify himself as such, I would have more confidence in the comment

    • Hi Judith, we have an official social media team dedicated to posting messages and responses to customer inquiries or comments that specifically address SSA issues. Please be aware that our official agency responses will always include the Social Security Administration (SSA) seal. Our blog — Social Security Matters — gives readers information about a variety of topics, including our programs, online services, current events, and human-interest stories, usually in greater detail than typically shared on our other social media platforms. Thank you for your support and for using our blog.


  34. I was born Jan. 3, 1947 and retired at age 66 and started collecting my social security benefits. I started working again in 2015 and have continued to do so. I had my taxes done by H&R Block this year due to my employer having me enroll in a HSA of $200, which I now understand has a new form. I was also penalized on my Social Security for making $19,455 in earnings. It was my understanding at my retirement age of 66 I could make as much as I wanted and not be penalized on my social security. I still pay into my social security which I know is required.why would 10% of my social security be taxable income.

  35. My husband is retired, 68, and collecting SS from age 65. I am 60, still working and just looked at the chart on benefits upon my retirement. Did I read it right?? It says that I, as a spouse, will have my SS reduced to 35.4%???? OR do I look at the wage earner col where it says I can collect 75.8% if I retire at 62 and 6 months??

    • Hi Karla. If you were born in 1957, at 62 + 6 months, the reductions are: 75.8% for the wage earner and 35.4% for the spouse. This chart lists age 62 reduction amounts and includes examples based on an estimated monthly benefit of $1000 at full retirement age. Click on your year of birth to find out how much your benefit will be reduced if you retire between age 62 and full retirement age. We hope this helps.

  36. How is it that – despite drawing social security retirement early since age 62 – that now in Jan 2017, my Social Security account online shows “you are not currently receiving benefits” ? What caused this?
    Naturally, the offices are closed.

    • We are sorry you are having issues with your account. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions to read information on why you may be having trouble accessing your account. Also, we have established a dedicated MySocialSecurity Hotline. To reach this hotline, call 1-800-772-1213, and select the prompt “For help with registering or using the MySocialSecurity website”. The help desk will be available to callers between 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m. (Eastern Time). You will generally have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks.

  37. Instead of automatically converting from SSDI to retirement benefits at FRA, can the beneficiary suspend retirement benefits to age 70 and then get a greater monthly amount at the later age? (I asked this question in March 2016 but did not get an answer!)

    • We are sorry if we missed your question before. Please keep in mind that your disability payments are established at the highest rate possible. You may be eligible to switch from disability to retirement benefits, the rules can be complicated and you will need to speak to one of our representatives at your local Social Security office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thank you.

      • At Full Retirement Age, disability benefits end automatically and retirement benefits are paid instead. The switch is not an option, but a requirement. What I want to know is if, at that point, a former SSDI recipient can ask for suspension of benefits to age 70 and resume retirement benefits at a higher monthly amount at age 70.

        • Unfortunately, your question is a bit more complex than we can handle in this forum. For your security, we do not have access to information about your account in this venue. We recommend that you speak with one of our representatives directly. Call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. or contact your local Social Security office directly. Thanks!

  38. I will born April 27, 1951, and will be full retirement age of 66 this April 27. For SS purposes, do I reach full retirement on April 1, 2017, or not until April 27. Should I begin benefits on April 1, 2017, or May 1, 2017?

    • Thank you for your question Ben. You will attain your full retirement age, on April 1st. You can apply for your benefits online at any time now. Remember that benefits are paid the month after they are due. So, for instance, if you want your benefits to begin with the month of April, you will receive your first benefit payment in May. Please visit our Social Security Retirement Planner for more information.

  39. I was born on 12/1957. I am entitled to retire as early as 60 years old. It is very difficult to find jobs at this age. I have survivors benefits that belongs to my husband that died about 10 years ago, but the money I was expecting is so reduced.

  40. When can I draw on my living spouses social security earnings record and let my set? We have been married for 30+ years, I will be 62 soon. I’d like to leave mine and draw on his. How does that work?

    • Thank you for your question Kay. You may be able to get spouse’s retirement benefits if you are at least 62 years of age and your spouse is receiving retirement or disability benefits. Under existing law, if you are eligible for benefits both as a retired worker and as a spouse (or divorced spouse) in the first month you want your benefits to begin and are not yet full retirement age, you must apply for both benefits. You will receive the higher of the two benefits. This requirement is called “deemed filing” because when you apply for one benefit you are “deemed” to have also applied for the other. Visit our Retirement Planner: Benefits For You As A Spouse for more information.

  41. I am 61, was married for 15 years and am now divorced for 20 years. I’m still working for the past 30 years and have my own SS. My ex husband is 63 and is collecting on his social security. Can I collect part of his SS now and wait until I am 66 to collect my own?

    • Thank you for your question Liliana. If you turn age 62 on or after January 2, 2016, you are required or “deemed” to file for both your own retirement and for any benefits you are due as a spouse, no matter what age you are. If you file for one benefit, you will be effectively filing for all retirement or spousal benefits. Please visit our “Retirement Planner: If You Are Divorced” for more information.

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