Ask Larry

Aren't Benefit Rates Increased For Each Month You Delay Filing?

I am delaying retirement and want to know what my benefits will be on my 68 birthday which is september. the ssa gov calculator shows no increase until 2024. I thought they increased each month!

Hi. You do earn delayed retirement credits (DRC) for every month that you don't collect Social Security retirement benefits between your full retirement age (FRA) and age 70, but if you claim benefits before age 70 then your benefit rate is initially only credited with any DRCs you accrued through December of the year prior to the year you claim benefits. So, if you elect to start drawing benefits at age 68 in September 2023, your initial benefit rate will only include the DRCs you earned through December 2022. The DRCs earned from January through August of 2023 couldn't then be added to your benefit rate until effective with your benefit payment for January 2024.

Furthermore, Social Security uses an automated process to add the partial year DRCs earned by people who start drawing benefits mid-year, and my understanding is that such automated recomputations are only done every other year. Therefore, if you elect to start your benefits effective with September 2023, it may take until sometime in 2025 before you actually receive the rate increase for the DRCs you earn in 2023. However, once the rate adjustment is finally processed, Social Security will pay you any back pay that you have coming.

Before deciding when to claim your benefits you should strongly consider using our software ( to fully compare and analyze all of your options so that you can determine your best strategy for maximizing your benefits.

Best, Jerry

Feb 6 2023 - 12:09pm
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