At what age do Social Security payments stop?
There are several programmes on offer from the Social Security Administration aimed at supporting retired and disabled workers and their families.
Over the course of 2020 more than 65 million Americans received Social Security payments totalling close to $1 trillion. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has been around since 1935 and offers support for retired workers, survivors of retirees, and disabled people.
Recipients can choose the point at which they first claim the payments and in the case of retirement support, you can earn larger monthly payments by delaying them until after the statutory retirement age.
Once you have initiated a Social Security payment you will continue to receive them for the rest of our life. If you are survived by a spouse, they can also receive a proportion of your monthly payments after you die as a survivors benefit.
When can you first claim Social Security payments?
There are several programmes offered by the SSA, but by far the most well-known and widely utilised are the payments for retirees. Workers contribute Social Security payments throughout their working life to qualify for the support, which is then doled out once they retire.
The earliest age at which you can claim Social Security retirement benefits is 62, but you would be well-advised to hold off until full retirement age if at all possible. Claiming early can see your monthly amount fall by up to 30%.
The statutory retirement age varies for different age groups: 66 for those born between 1943 and 1954; increasing by two months for each year older until 1960. Thereafter, the retirement age is fixed at 67.
If you are able to hold off on your Social Security claim for a year or two you can actually boost your entitlement, up to the age of 70.
Survivor’s benefits for spouses can be claimed any time after the age of 60, after the death of the Social Security plan’s beneficiary. The monthly payments will remained fixed at the amount that the deceased was receiving at the time of their death.
Concern that additional funding is needed for Social Security
The annual boost for Social Security payments is something to celebrate for the tens of millions of Americans who rely on the monthly support, but there is a long-term trend that is causing concerns for some lawmakers.
Estimates suggest that the funds which currently pay for the various Social Security programmes are not capable of keeping up with the demand and are projected to become insufficient by 2034. By that time, CNBC report that the funds will only be able to cover the cost of around 78% of promised benefits.
To counteract this threat Rep. John Larson, chairman of the House Ways and Means subcommittee on Social Security, has introduced the Social Security 2100 Act to provide additional funding. The proposal would push the deadline back by four years, to 2038, which Larson hopes will provide the opportunity to find a permanent solution.