Electing Delayed Social Security Retirement Benefits

You can elect to delay receiving Social Security retirement benefits past normal retirement age.


  • You want to optimize your Social Security retirement income and:
  • You are at least normal retirement age
  • You are fully insured for retirement benefits
  • You have applied for delayed retirement benefits by contacting the Social Security Administration

Key Strengths

  • Your retirement benefit will increase
  • Your surviving spouse’s benefit will increase
  • Your delayed retirement credit isn’t counted toward your family maximum

Key Tradeoffs

  • Even though your monthly benefit will be higher, your lifetime benefit may be lower
  • The delayed retirement credit won’t increase benefits paid to most family members

Variations from State to State

  • None

How Is It Implemented?

  • For information on how electing delayed retirement benefits will affect you, you can use one of the benefit calculators available on the Social Security website.
  • To apply for delayed retirement benefits, contact the Social Security Administration two or three months before the date you wish to begin receiving benefits. Visit a local office or call (800) 772-1213.
  • For investment options or retirement planning advice, contact a financial professional.


The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.

The tax information provided is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax planning advice. We suggest that you consult with a qualified tax advisor.



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