A Guide to the Full Retirement Age in US

retirement age in us

The normal retirement age or the full retirement age is the age where people leave the workforce and obtain the full benefits of retirement. For instance, in the U.S. the full retirement age when people can take full advantage of their Social Security benefits is actually sixty-six years and two months for those who were born in 1955. 

The age limit will increase gradually to the age of sixty-seven for those who were born in 1960 and after. The full retirement age varies from country to countries too. The age is quintessentially between sixty-five and six-seven years of age. There are differences in benefits whether you claim it before or after your FRA. in this article, we have enlisted a thorough understanding of the full retirement age in the U.S.

A Depiction of Full Retirement Age

A group of people standing in front of a crowd

The full retirement age is also applied to the plans of pensions like employer-sponsored plans.

  • The IRS or Internal Revenue Service recognizes the FRA for the minimum vesting reasons as the plan participants attain the normal retirement age before time or they attain it after the age of sixty-five or the fifth anniversary after the participants have started participating in the plan. 
  • Military members, public servants, and police officers will get their full benefits after a particular number of years of service instead of at a certain age.
  • There has been talking of making the normal retirement age higher due to the concerns of the solvency regarding the trust fund of Social Security along with the demographic changes which increase in longevity.

Advantage of Claiming FRA Early

A person wearing a hat

You can begin getting the full Social Security benefits at the age of sixty-two which is earlier than the normal retirement age.

  • However, you can receive your full retirement benefits when you reach the FRA. If you do not take your benefits at the right retirement age to the age of seventy, you will get an increased amount of benefits.
  • While claiming your benefits prior to your full retirement age will decrease the amount, if you claim your benefits after the normal retirement age, then it will be annually increased by eight percent. The maximum benefit will occur at the age of seventy.

Disadvantages of Claiming FRA Later

Before you make your decision to take the claim after or before your full retirement age, you have to understand that there are both advantages and disadvantages to that decision. As each person’s predicament is different than the other, there are other things that you have to consider even when you think to take the claim after your full retirement age because your benefits will be increased.

For example, if you decide to make your claim after the age of sixty-five, you should apply for your Medicare benefits within three months when you turn sixty-five. If you wait for more than that, then your prescription drug coverage (Part D) and your Medicare medical insurance (Part B) might cost you more money.


In this article, we have discussed the definition of full retirement or the normal retirement age in the U.S. in detail. We have also depicted the positive and negative sides of claiming your benefits before or after your full retirement age for you to make a sound choice that is ideal for you.

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