How Do Delayed Retirement Credits Work?

Jun 28 2016 - 3:45pm

I was looking on how to calculate retirement benefits in years 67,68,69 before I turn 70 IF I filed and suspended and took a spousal benefit, then decided before 70 to take what the full retirement at that age I chose. Or is there a simple math equation as a multiplier on a per year basis ?

Hi,

For people born after 1942, delayed retirement credits (DRC) amount to 2/3rds of 1% per month, or 8% per year. Social Security retirement benefits are increased by that percentage for each month of voluntary benefit suspension beginning with the month of full retirement age (FRA) attainment, and continuing through the month prior to the month that the person turns age 70. If a person's FRA is 66, they can earn a maximum increase of 32% by deferring benefits until age 70. If their FRA is 67, the maximum possible increase is 24%.

Assuming that your FRA is 66, if you defer starting benefits on your own account until the month you reach age 67, your benefit amount will be 8% higher than at age 66. If you defer until age 68, it will be 16% higher, and 24% higher if you wait until age 69. However, you can start any month in between 66 & 70, and the increases will be calculated accordingly. So, if you start taking benefits at age 67 & 10 months for example, your increase will be 14.66% (i.e. 22 months x 2/3rds of 1%).

One important caveat is that if you start benefits between FRA and age 70, DRCs are initially credited through December of the year prior to the year in which benefits are started. So, for example, if you turn 68 in July and start drawing benefits then, you will initially be credited with 18 months of DRCs, or 12%. Credit for the additional 6 months, or 4%, will then be added effective with the following January.

Best, Jerry