How Do You Determine the Retirement Age for the Highest Social Security Benefit?


Quick Answer

As of 2015, workers receive the highest monthly amount of Social Security benefits when they retire at age 70, reports the Social Security Administration. Although they receive a full benefit amount when they retire at their full retirement age, they can increase these benefits with delayed retirement credits if they put off retirement further. After age 69, workers no longer receive delayed retirement credits even if they continue to work.

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Full Answer

Although eligible workers can begin receiving Social Security benefits as early as age 62, they receive reduced benefits. These are based on the year of their birth and the number of months before their full retirement age, explains the Social Security Administration. Full retirement age varies according to year of birth. For instance, for those born in 1937 or earlier, full retirement age is 65. For those born between 1943 and 1954, it is age 66, and for those born in 1960 or after, it is 67. For the years in between, full retirement age increases in two month increments.

Workers who delay their retirement after full retirement age receive delayed retirement credits for every month they don't receive benefits, until they reach age 70, according to the Social Security Administration. Workers who delay their retirement past full retirement age should still enroll in Medicare at age 65, because late enrollment in Medicare raises the premiums.

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