October 23, 2013

Social Security’s Real Retirement Age Is 70

By Alicia H. Munnell, Center for Retirement Research
“The brief’s key findings are:
  • Due to increases in Social Security’s Delayed Retirement Credit, the effective retirement age is now 70, with monthly benefits reduced for earlier claiming.
  • Benefit levels at 70 appear appropriate given that rising deductions for Medicare and greater benefit taxation have reduced Social Security’s net replacement rates.
  • The shift to 70 should be feasible for many workers given increases in lifespans, health, and education.
  • But vulnerable workers forced to claim early will have low benefits and will be particularly harmed by any further cuts.
  • Policymakers need to inform those who can work that 70 is the new retirement age and devise ways to protect those who cannot work.”
Bottom line, regardless of your Full Retirement Age, the reality is that your benefits will be reduced if you claim Social Security before age 70. Munnell is co-author of a book entitled Working Longer.

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