Social Security - How Early Retirement Affects Your Benefits

An early retirement means a smaller benefit from Social Security.

social security card
How to sign up for Social Security. (c) Tetra Images, Getty Images

An early retirement has significant implications to how your Social Security benefit is calculated. For Social Security purposes, an early retirement is one where you claim your benefits prior to your normal retirement age. For every month you retire prior to your normal retirement age , your benefit is reduced by 5/9 of 1% per month for the first 36 months and 5/12 of 1% for each additional month.

This results in a reduced benefit of approximately 0.6%. Since your normal retirement age is based on your year of birth, this means that two people may not have their benefits reduced by the same percentage – even if they take benefits at the exact same age or on the exact same day!

If your normal retirement age is 67 (you were born during or after 1960), then your early retirement benefit will be reduced by this percentage of your normal retirement benefit at each listed age:

  • 62: 30%
  • 62 + 1 month 29.6%
  • 62 + 2 months 29.2%
  • 62 + 3 months 28.7%
  • 62 + 4 months 28.3%
  • 62 + 5 months 27.9%
  • 62 + 6 months 27.5%
  • 62 + 7 months 27.1%
  • 62 + 8 months 26.7%
  • 62 + 9 months 26.2%
  • 62 + 10 months 25.8%
  • 62 + 11 months 25.4%
  • 63: 25%
  • 63 + 1 month 24.6%
  • 63 + 2 months 24.2%
  • 63 + 3 months 23.7%
  • 63 + 4 months 23.3%
  • 63 + 5 months 22.9%
  • 63 + 6 months 22.5%
  • 63 + 7 months 22.1%
  • 63 + 8 months 21.7%
  • 63 + 9 months 21.2%
  • 63 + 10 months 20.8%
  • 63 + 11 months 20.4%
  • 64: 20%
  • 64 + 1 month 19.4%
  • 64 + 2 months 18.9%
  • 64 + 3 months 18.3%
  • 64 + 4 months 17.8%
  • 64 + 5 months 17.2%
  • 64 + 6 months 16.7%
  • 64 + 7 months 16.1%
  • 64 + 8 months 15.6%
  • 64 + 9 months 15%
  • 64 + 10 months 14.4%
  • 64 + 11 months 13.9%
  • 65: 13.3%
  • 65 + 1 month 12.8%
  • 65 + 2 months 12.2%
  • 65 + 3 months 11.7%
  • 65 + 4 months 11.1%
  • 65 + 5 months 10.6%
  • 65 + 6 months 10%
  • 65 + 7 months 9.4%
  • 65 + 8 months 8.9%
  • 65 + 9 months 8.3%
  • 65 + 10 months 7.8%
  • 65 + 11 months 7.2%
  • 66: 6.7%
  • 66 + 1 month 6.1%
  • 66 + 2 months 5.6%
  • 66 + 3 months 5%
  • 66 + 4 months 4.4%
  • 66 + 5 months 3.90%
  • 66 + 6 months 3.3%
  • 66 + 7 months 2.8%
  • 66 + 8 months 2.2%
  • 66 + 9 months 1.7%
  • 66 + 10 months 1.1%
  • 66 + 11 months 0.6%
  • 67: 0%

If your normal retirement age is 66 (you were born between 1943 and 1954), then your early retirement benefit will be reduced by this percentage of your normal retirement benefit at the listed age:

  • 62: 25%
  • 62 + 1 month 24.6%
  • 62 + 2 months 24.2%
  • 62 + 3 months 23.7%
  • 62 + 4 months 23.3%
  • 62 + 5 months 22.9%
  • 62 + 6 months 22.5%
  • 62 + 7 months 22.1%
  • 62 + 8 months 21.7%
  • 62 + 9 months 21.2%
  • 62 + 10 months 20.8%
  • 62 + 11 months 20.4%
  • 63: 20.0%
  • 63 + 1 month 19.4%
  • 63 + 2 months 18.9%
  • 63 + 3 months 18.3%
  • 63 + 4 months 17.8%
  • 63 + 5 months 17.2%
  • 63 + 6 months 16.7%
  • 63 + 7 months 16.1%
  • 63 + 8 months 15.6%
  • 63 + 9 months 15.0%
  • 63 + 10 months 14.4%
  • 63 + 11 months 13.9%
  • 64: 13.3%
  • 64 + 1 month 12.8%
  • 64 + 2 months 12.2%
  • 64 + 3 months 11.7%
  • 64 + 4 months 11.1%
  • 64 + 5 months 10.6%
  • 64 + 6 months 10.0%
  • 64 + 7 months 9.4%
  • 64 + 8 months 8.9%
  • 64 + 9 months 8.3%
  • 64 + 10 months 7.8%
  • 64 + 11 months 7.2%
  • 65: 6.7%
  • 65 + 1 month 6.1%
  • 65 + 2 months 5.6%
  • 65 + 3 months 5%
  • 65 + 4 months 4.4%
  • 65 + 5 months 3.90%
  • 65 + 6 months 3.3%
  • 65 + 7 months 2.8%
  • 65 + 8 months 2.2%
  • 65 + 9 months 1.7%
  • 65 + 10 months 1.1%
  • 65 + 11 months 0.6%
  • 66: 0%

If you were born between 1955 and 1959 your Full Retirement Age will be as follows:

  • 1955: 66 and 2 months
  • 1956: 66 and 4 months
  • 1957: 66 and 6 months
  • 1958: 66 and 8 months
  • 1959: 66 and 10 months

Note:  If you were born between 1955 and 1959 you can visit the Social Security Administration website to determine the benefit reduction based on your year of birth.

If your normal retirement age is 65 (you were born before 1938), then your early retirement benefit will be this percentage of your normal retirement benefit at the listed age:

  • 62: 20%
  • 62 + 1 month 19.4%
  • 62 + 2 months 18.9%
  • 62 + 3 months 18.3%
  • 62 + 4 months 17.8%
  • 62 + 5 months 17.2%
  • 62 + 6 months 16.7%
  • 62 + 7 months 16.1%
  • 62 + 8 months 15.6%
  • 62 + 9 months 15%
  • 62 + 10 months 14.4%
  • 62 + 11 months 13.9%
  • 63: 13.3%
  • 63 + 1 month 12.8%
  • 63 + 2 months 12.2%
  • 63 + 3 months 11.7%
  • 63 + 4 months 11.1%
  • 63 + 5 months 10.6%
  • 63 + 6 months 10%
  • 63 + 7 months 9.40%
  • 63 + 8 months 8.90%
  • 63 + 9 months 8.3%
  • 63 + 10 months 7.8%
  • 63 + 11 months 7.2%
  • 64: 6.7%
  • 64 + 1 month 6.10%
  • 64 + 2 months 5.60%
  • 64 + 3 months 5%
  • 64 + 4 months 4.40%
  • 64 + 5 months 3.90%
  • 64 + 6 months 3.3%
  • 64 + 7 months 2.8%
  • 64 + 8 months 2.2%
  • 64 + 9 months 1.7%
  • 64 + 10 months 1.10%
  • 64 + 11 months 0.60%
  • 65: 0%

Updated by Scott Spann

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