to Retirement Benefits Set to
Take Effect in 2000
The normal retirement age for
Social Security is set to increase for 150 million working Americans
beginning in January 2000. Although 62 remains the earliest age
at which individuals can retire and collect reduced benefits, the
age for collecting full Social Security benefits will gradually
increase from age 65 to 67 over a 22-year period. For those born
in 1938 (age 62 in 2000) the new retirement age is 65 and 2 months.
The increase in the retirement age was included in the Social Security
Amendments of 1983.
"Deciding when to retire
is probably one of the toughest and most important decisions American
workers have to make," Social Security Commissioner Kenneth
S. Apfel said. "Because it is so important, it is crucial for
workers to have all the facts regarding the impact of their retirement
decision on their current and future Social Security benefit."
increase in the full retirement age begins with individuals
born in 1938 whose normal retirement age will be 65 and 2 months.
The age increases in two-month increments for workers born between
1939 and 1943 until the retirement age reaches 66 and remains there
for all workers born through 1954. For those born after 1954, the
retirement age begins to increase again in two-month increments
until it reaches age 67 for those born in 1960 or later.
additional provision of the 1983 law will give workers who continue
working, and delay collecting Social Security benefits until after
their normal retirement age, higher benefits. The amount of the
increase, known as the "delayed retirement credit," is
determined by a set percentage and increases the longer retirement
is delayed. Currently, workers born in 1938 who delay retirement
receive a 6.5% credit for each year they do not collect benefits.
The yearly credit will increase to 8% for those born in 1943 or
later. For individuals who work a partial year, the yearly percentage
is broken into monthly increments. The increase stops at age 70,
regardless of when a worker starts collecting benefits.
"Social Security benefits
are the foundation of most Americans retirement," Commissioner
Kenneth S. Apfel said. "And its important that everyone
know how the retirement choices they make can have an impact on
In October, the Social Security
Administration began mailing Social Security Statements to
all workers age 25 and older not receiving Social Security benefits.
The statement tells workers their full retirement age and provides
a retirement benefit estimate for age 62, full retirement age, and
"The Social Security
Statement is a valuable financial planning tool that will help
Americans prepare for their long term financial security,"
Commissioner Apfel said. "Its never too early to start
retirement planning, but it can be too late!"
SSAs website, www.ssa.gov,
provides more information on the increase in the retirement age,
including an interactive feature that allows browsers to look up
their own retirement age.
disponible en Español aquí
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Copies of most SSA press releases, as well as other Social Security
information and statistics,
are available at SSAs Internet site, Social Security
Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.
Also look there for information on subscribing to SSAs
free electronic newsletter, Social Security eNews.
SSA Press Office 449
Altmeyer Bldg. 6401 Security Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21235
410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973