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When to start your benefits

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You can start your Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. Your monthly benefit amount will be different depending on the age you start receiving it. If you choose to:

  • start your benefits early, they will be permanently reduced based on the number of months you receive benefits before you reach your full retirement age. The reduction in your benefit amount will also depend on the year you were born. The maximum reduction at age 62 will be
    • 25 percent for people who reach age 62 in 2008.
    • 30 percent for people born after 1959.

    You could see a change in your benefit amount if you work after you start receiving benefits.

    Some of your benefits may be withheld if you have excess earnings. However, after you reach full retirement age, we will recalculate your benefit amount to give you credit for any months in which you did not receive some benefit because of your earnings.

  • wait until full retirement age, your benefits will not be reduced.

  • delay benefits until after full retirement age, they will be permanently increased based on the number of months you do not receive benefits between full retirement age and age 70.

    There is no additional benefit increase after you reach age 70, even if you continue to delay taking benefits.

Do you plan to keep working beyond full retirement age?




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Last reviewed or modified Friday Sep 12, 2008
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