The earliest eligibility age for Social Security retirement benefits is 62. This is considered early retirement and results in a benefits cut of a fraction of 1 percent for each month prior to full retirement age. The Social Security Administration website provides a calculator to determine full retirement age.
Full retirement age, sometimes referred to as "normal retirement age," was initially set at 65 years of age. However, due to increases in health and longevity, the Social Security Administration, in 1983, added provisions to slowly increase the age of full retirement to 67. The change begins with people born after 1938 and gradually increases to people born after 1959.