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What Happens To Social Security When I Turn 65



One of the most common questions individuals receiving Social Security disability (SSD) benefits have is whether they switch to retirement benefits when they turn 65. The answer is that when an individual reaches full retirement age—often 65 but sometimes older, depending on the year of birth—these SSD benefits will be called retirement benefits instead. To the beneficiary of the benefits, nothing will change as a practical matter beyond the name for the payments and perhaps the technical source of funding. Most importantly, the payments themselves do not change.

Automatic Change

A person does not need to take any action in order to cause the change from SSD benefits to retirement benefits. It happens automatically. Beginning with the month in which a person reaches his or her full age of retirement, the individual will receive retirement benefits with no limitation on earnings.

What Is A Person's Full Retirement Age

It is important for planning purposes to know your full retirement age as it applies to Social Security retirement benefits. For example, if you were born in 1937 or earlier, your full retirement age for Social Security purposes is 65. If you were born in 1938, your full retirement age is 65 years and 2 months. For those born in 1939, it's 65 years and 4 months. Individuals born in 1940 reach full retirement age at 65 and 6 months. If you were born in 1941, your full retirement age is 65 years and 8 months. For 1942, it's 65 years and 10 months. If you were born between the years of 1943 and 1954, you reach full retirement age at 66.

For those born in 1955, full retirement age is 66 years and 2 months. If you were born in 1956, it's 66 years and 4 months. If your birth year was 1957, your full retirement age is 66 years and 6 months. For babies born in 1958, the full retirement age is 66 years and 8 months. If you were born in 1959, it's 66 years and 10 months. And if you were born in 1960 or later, your full retirement age is two years later than you might have assumed, at 67 years.

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