NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Retirement Age For Full Social Security Benefits Rises

January 7, 2000

Starting in 2000, the age at which American workers qualify for full Social Security benefits will gradually rise by two months a year for each age cohort born in 1938 or later.

  • In other words, those born in 1938 won't qualify for full benefits until they reach age 65 plus two months; those born in 1939, 65 plus four months; and so forth.
  • For those born in 1943 through 1954, the regular retirement age will be 66.
  • By 2022 -- when the phase-in is complete -- workers born in 1960 and after will have to wait until age 67 to get full benefits.
  • Early retirees will still be able to begin collecting reduced benefits at age 62; however, while payments for early retirees are now 20 percent less than at 65, the reduction will rise gradually to 30 percent by 2022 for each successive age group.

Most Americans don't know about or understand the change, according to a survey last summer sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the American Savings Education Council and Mathew Greenwald & Associates.

The changes are due to a Social Security rescue package passed by Congress in 1983.

Source: Christine Dugas, "Social Security Benefit Age Requirement Rises This Year," USA Today, January 4, 2000.


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