Social Security & Medicare Benefits

What Is Social Security?

Social Security is a government program that provides financial assistance and benefits to retirees, the disabled, and the unemployed. Assistance and benefits are dependent on meeting eligibility criteria set by the government. Workers pay Social Security taxes and program enrollees for retirement benefits receive income from Social Security.

Social Security & Medicare

Social Security does not provide health insurance coverage for retirees. Instead, the Medicare program is the traditional vehicle of health benefits to the retired. However, people can receive Social Security retirement income as early as age 62 while the standard age for Medicare for Medicare benefits is 65. A significant minority of Medicare enrollees are under the age of 65 and qualify for Medicare benefits due to disability.

Age To Receive Full Social Security Benefits

For those born after 1960, the age to receive 100% of Social Security monthly payments is 67. Originally, full Social Security benefits had been available at age 65 but Congress gradually increased the minimum age for full benefits. Below is a table that outlines how the age for full retirement benefits changes by birth year. Please note that people born on January 1st of any year you should refer to the previous year for their full retirement age because people born on the 1st of the month are treated by the government as if their birthday was in the previous month.

Year of BirthFull Retirement Age
1937 or earlier65
193865 and 2 months
193965 and 4 months
194065 and 6 months
194165 and 8 months
194265 and 10 months
1943--195466
195566 and 2 months
195666 and 4 months
195766 and 6 months
195866 and 8 months
195966 and 10 months
1960 and later67

Full Retirement Age Vs. Partial Payments

People can receive Social Security as early as age 62 but those people born after 1960 who receive Social Security before age 67 will receive a lower payments for the rest of their time on the program.

Below is a table that outlines what percentage of Social Security payments will be received at differing retirement ages.

Age at which Social Security Benefits Begin...Percentage of the Full Benefit You Will Receive as as a Wage EarnerPercentage of the Full Benefit You Will Receive as as a Spouse
6270%32.5%
62 + 1 month70.4%32.7%
62 + 2 months70.8%32.9%
62 + 3 months71.3%33.1%
62 + 4 months71.7%33.3%
62 + 5 months72.1%33.5%
62 + 6 months72.5%33.8%
62 + 7 months72.9%34%
62 + 8 months73.3%34.2%
62 + 9 months73.8%34.4%
62 + 10 months74.2%34.6%
62 + 11 months74.6%34.8%
6375%35%
63 + 1 month75.4%35.2%
63 + 2 months75.8%35.4%
63 + 3 months76.3%35.6%
63 + 4 months76.7%35.8%
63 + 5 months77.1%36%
63 + 6 months77.5%36.3%
63 + 7 months77.9%36.5%
63 + 8 months78.3%36.7%
63 + 9 months78.8%36.9%
63 + 10 months79.2%37.1%
63 + 11 months79.6%37.3%
6480%37.5%
64 + 1 month80.6%37.8%
64 + 2 months81.1%38.2%
64 + 3 months81.7%38.5%
64 + 4 months82.2%38.9%
64 + 5 months82.8%39.2%
64 + 6 months83.3%39.6%
64 + 7 months83.9%39.9%
64 + 8 months84.4%40.3%
64 + 9 months85%40.6%
64 + 10 months85.6%41%
64 + 11 months86.1%41.3%
6586.7%41.7%
65 + 1 month87.2%42%
65 + 2 months87.8%42.4%
65 + 3 months88.3%42.7%
65 + 4 months88.9%43.1%
65 + 5 months89.4%43.4%
65 + 6 months90%43.8%
65 + 7 months90.6%44.1%
65 + 8 months91.1%44.4%
65 + 9 months91.7%44.8%
65 + 10 months92.2%45.1%
65 + 11 months92.8%45.5%
6693.3%45.8%
66 + 1 month93.9%46.2%
66 + 2 months94.4%46.5%
66 + 3 months95%46.9%
66 + 4 months95.6%47.2%
66 + 5 months96.1%47.6%
66 + 6 months96.7%47.9%
66 + 7 months97.2%48.3%
66 + 8 months97.8%48.6%
66 + 9 months98.3%49%
66 + 10 months98.9%49.3%
66 + 11 months99.4%49.7%
67100%50%

People born on January 1st of any year you should refer to the previous year. People born on the 1st of the month are treated as if their birthday was in the previous month.

For more information see http://www.ssa.gov/retirement/1960.html.

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