Ask Larry

Which Is Correct?

The Social Security "Apply for Retirement Benefits" page says if you turn (birth date of age you wish to start retirement benefits) if any day after the 2nd day of the month you are not that age for the entire month. You can start your benefits as of the following month. Your answer to a previous question says you can start your benefits in the month you turn the age you wish to initiate retirement benefits. Which is correct?

Hi. With regard to Social Security retirement benefits, the only time when being of a certain age for an entire month is when a person turns age 62 ( The first month that you can collect retirement benefits is the first month that you are age 62 for a whole month. Social Security counts people as reaching their next age on the day prior to their birthday, so a person born on November 2 1959 for example could claim retirement benefits as early as November 2021.

You can also claim retirement benefits any month after the month in which you turn age 62, in which case your birthday is irrelevant when calculating your benefit rate unless you were born on the 1st day of a month. In that case Social Security considers you to have reached your next age last day of the prior month prior to your birthday.

So, for example, if a person reaches full retirement age (FRA) on November 29 2021 and they claim retirement benefits effective with November 2021, they will be paid their full unreduced retirement benefit rate.

Best, Jerry

Nov 3 2021 - 12:58pm
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