Definition of full retirement age (FRA)

What is the full retirement age (FRA)?

Full Retirement Age (FRA), also known as the “normal retirement age,” is the age at which people can receive full retirement benefits upon leaving the workforce. In the US, for example, the FRA to receive Social Security benefits is 67 years for people born in 1960 or later, 66 for people born between 1943 and 1954 and 66 and two, four, six, eight or 10 months. for people born between 1955 and 1959 (age increases by two months each successive year). Claiming benefits before your FRA will reduce your benefit, while claiming after your FRA will increase your benefits by 8% per year, in 0.6% or 07% monthly increments, with the maximum benefit occurring at age 70.

Key takeaways

  • Full Retirement Age (FRA) refers to the age you must reach to be eligible to receive all Social Security benefits. Age varies depending on the time of their birth.
  • In the US, the FRA is currently 66 years and two months for those born in 1955 and will gradually increase to 67 for those born in 1960 and later.
  • The FRA for retirement systems in various countries also varies, generally between the ages of 65 and 67.

Understanding Full Retirement Age (FRA)

FRA also applies to pension plans, such as employer-sponsored plans. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) identifies FRA for minimum entitlement purposes as “as soon as possible between (A) the time a plan participant reaches normal retirement age under the plan or (B) the latest age of 65 or the fifth anniversary of the plan participant’s time began participating in the plan. “

Public servants, police officers, and members of the military, for example, typically receive all benefits after a certain number of years of service, rather than at a specific age.

In 2021, the FRA for Social Security retirement benefits is 66 years and two months for people born in 1955, gradually increasing to 67 for those born in 1960 or later.

Given concerns about the solvency of the Social Security Trust Fund, along with demographic changes and increased longevity, there has been talk in conservative circles about increasing the FRA, and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) proposed such a policy. in 2019. However, that is unlikely to happen in the Biden administration, especially with the House of Representatives in Democratic hands.


The percentage of your full retirement benefit that you will get if you decide to retire at age 62.

Changes in full retirement age (FRA)

The 1983 amendments to Social Security included a provision allowing the FRA to be increased for people born in 1938 or later. Improvements in the general health of older people and increased life expectancy drove the change. The Social Security Administration provides a calculator that will tell a person their FRA.

If you were born in 1960 or later, your FRA is 67, although you can begin claiming benefits at age 62. However, those benefits will be at a reduced amount (70% of the FRA benefit), because you will receive benefits for 60 more months. At age 65 you will get 86.7% of the total retirement benefit. If you start receiving benefits as a spouse in FRA, you will get half the monthly benefit that your spouse would receive if your benefits started in FRA.

Similarly, you can wait until after the FRA to begin collecting benefits and collect deferred retirement credits up to age 70 instead.

Full Retirement Age (FRA) worldwide

FRA worldwide is typically between the ages of 65 and 67 and can vary for men and women as well. Here are some examples:

  • Australia: 66 and six months (to increase to 67 in 2023)
  • Brazil: 65 (men); 62 (female, 60 maids in October 2019)
  • Canada: 65
  • China: 60 (men); 50 (workers); o 55 (white-collar women)
  • France: 62
  • Germany: 65 and six or seven months (depending on the year of birth, gradually increasing to 67 for those born in 1964 or later)
  • India: 58
  • Indonesia: 56 (gradually increasing to 65 by 2043)
  • Japan: 65
  • South Korea: 62 (gradually increasing to 65 by 2033)
  • Mexico: 65
  • Philippines: 60
  • Russia: as of 2018, 60 for men (gradually increasing to 65 by 2028); 55 for women (gradually increasing to 60 by 2028)
  • UK: 66 (to increase to 67 in 2028)
  • United States: 66 for those born between 1943 and 1954; increasing at two-month intervals each year for those born from 1955 to 1959; 67 for those born in 1960 and after

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Mark Holland

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