Is It True That I'll Get My Age 68 Rate If I Start Drawing 6 Months Before Then?

Nov 19 2017 - 6:54am

Hi Larry,

Hope your weekend is going well.

On July 15, 2017 I turned 67 years old. In Dec 2017, I will be close to 67.5 yrs old. It means that I will be only six-months shy of my 68th birthday. I was told that within six month of my 68th B'day, I will be entitled to get full benefits equivalent to my 68 yrs age. What I mean that I don't have to wait until July 15, 2018, instead I can get start claiming the same amount equal to my 68th birthday when I claim in Dec 2017 or Jan 2018. Please advise.

Hi,

What you've heard is not correct. Delayed retirement credits (DRC) of 2/3rds of 1% are added to your benefit rate for each month that you don't take payments from full retirement age (FRA) until age 70. If you start drawing your benefits at age 68, you will have accumulated 16% in DRCs (i.e. 2/3rds of 1% x 24). However, if you start drawing 6 months earlier for example, you will only be credited with 18 months of DRCs, or 12%.

What may be the source of the confusion is the manner in which DRCs are credited when a person files between FRA and age 70. In such cases, DRCs are initially only credited only through the December prior to the month of entitlement. So, in your case you would initially receive the same rate whether you filed effective with January or July of 2018, however, effective with the following January you could be credited with any additional DRCs earned in 2018. Thus, your permanent benefit rate would be 4% lower if you started drawing in January 2018 vs. July 2018. And, you wouldn't receive your age 68 rate if you filed effective with January 2018 since you will only have accumulated 18 months of DRCs at that time.

You should strongly consider using the maximization software available on this website before filing in order to compare your options and determine your best filing strategy.

Best, Jerry