January 18, 2022

turning 66 in 2022? Here’s the First New Social Security Rule You Need to Know

If you turn 66 this year, there is something very important to know about Social Security.

There is a change in the rules that you need to understand before you start claiming your benefit. That’s because it can affect the amount of income you receive each month for the rest of your life.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re celebrating your 66th birthday this year.

Older adult working at desk.

Image source: Getty Images.

This change in Social Security will affect benefits for retirees turning 66

To understand the rule change that will affect you when you turn 66 next year, you need to know a few basic facts about how Social Security benefits work.

  • You will receive your standard benefit when you retire exactly full retirement age (FRA). Your standard benefit is your primary insurance amount calculated based on how much you have earned during your career.
  • you got hit with early filing penalties for each month you will get a Social Security check prior to FRA. So if you receive benefits a month early, you will be subject to a month of early filing penalties. This one Reduce your monthly check amount, giving you smaller benefits each month for the rest of your life.
  • You deserve deferred pension credits for each month that you delay the start of your Social Security benefits. these credits raise your payment, giving you more money each month for the rest of your life.

All of this means that your FRA plays a vital role in the amount of money Social Security provides you.

Because FRA is so important, anyone turning 66 this year should know that their FRA is changing. It is also changing for people who will only reach this milestone in the coming years. FRA will be slightly later for anyone turning 66 in 2022 or in subsequent years than for retirees who have already reached this important birthday.

How FRA changes when you turn 66 in 2022

Social security changes in 1983 slowly led to a change in FRA. As the chart below shows, this is when the full retirement age is, based on the year you were born.

year of birth

Full Retirement Age

1943-1954

66

1955

66 and two months

1956

66 and four months

1957

66 and six months

1958

66 and eight months

1959

66 and 10 months

1960 or later

67

Data source: Social Security Administration.

As you can see, if you celebrate your 66th birthday in 2022, your FRA will be 66 and four months – two full months later than for people who turned 66 last year and four months after most retirees before you.

As a result of this change, if you want your full benefit without penalties, you’ll have to wait an additional two months to get it. Unfortunately, this is an actual reduction in benefits, as in the future you will be faced with giving up two months of income this year or accepting less with each monthly check.

It also means that if you maximize your deferred retirement loans, you’ll still get two months less of it compared to what retirees could earn in previous years. So the amount you can extend your benefits by waiting to apply for them is reduced.

Make sure you’re aware of this big change when you’re making a decision about when to start taking Social Security checks — and when calculating how much income your monthly benefits could bring.


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