The Social Security Administration provides a retirement planner on its website that details when an individual is eligible to receive partial or full retirement benefits. The earliest age to receive Social Security is 62 years of age, when an individual receives about 70 percent of earned benefits.
The age at which an individual can retire and receive full Social Security benefits is determined by the year he was born, according to the Social Security Administration. Those born between 1943 and 1954 can receive full benefits at age 66. If an individual is born in 1960 or later, he cannot receive full benefits until he reaches 67. Delaying receipt of Social Security benefits beyond the time when eligible to receive them also increases the benefits by approximately 5 to 8 percent per year up to age 70, at which time there is no further benefit to delaying taking payments.