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Is the Social Security retirement age going up?

Yes. Full retirement age (FRA) — the age at which you are eligible to claim 100 percent of the benefit Social Security calculates from your lifetime earnings record — has already increased from 65 years old to 66 and 6 months for those born in 1957, 66 and 8 months for those born in 1958 and will rise incrementally over the next several years to 67.

These changes were mandated by Congress in 1983 as part of a law that strengthened Social Security's finances. Congress cited improvements in the health of older people and increases in life expectancy as reasons for raising the retirement age.

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That law raised the full retirement age, which had been 65 since the inception of Social Security in the 1930s, to 66 for people born between 1943 and 1954 and 66 and 2 months for those born in 1955. FRA inches up to 66 and 4 months for someone born in 1956, 66 and 6 months for a 1957 baby, and so on, until it settles at 67 for people born in 1960 or later.

Keep in mind

Raising the age further is one of many possible reforms to Social Security that have come up for debate in Washington. AARP's Public Policy Institute has more information on potential changes in Social Security policy.

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