You Have More Than One "Full Retirement Age"

There’s a magic age that many people look forward to. That’s their “full retirement age.” Much of the time, full retirement age refers to the age in which a person is eligible to receive 100% of their social security retirement benefits. Fewer people know that there is also a full retirement age for social security survivor’s benefits, and that that age may be different from the full retirement age for retirement benefits. Full retirement age for survivor’s benefits is the age at which most survivors can receive 100% of their survivor’s benefit.

Note: There’s an exception for the surviving spouse of a worker who took early retirement.  Those surviving spouses qualify for a reduced widow(er) benefit, and depending on a special calculation used by Social Security may not benefit from waiting till full retirement age to receive their reduced widow(er) benefit.

If you are a surviving spouse, it’s important to know when you will reach full retirement age for survivor’s benefits so that you know when to apply and get 100% of what you’re entitled to. To find out your full retirement age for survivor’s benefits, see the highlighted portions of the chart below.

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Janice TamComment