Q.: How long do I need to work to become eligible for retirement benefits?
Everyone born in 1929 or later needs 40 Social Security credits to be eligible for retirement benefits. You can earn up to four credits per year, so you will need at least 10 years of work to become eligible for retirement benefits. During your working years, earnings covered by Social Security are posted to your Social Security record. You earn credits based on those earnings. If you become disabled or die before age 62, the number of credits needed to qualify for Social Security benefits depends on your age at the time you die or become disabled. A minimum of six credits is required to qualify for Social Security benefits regardless of your age. You can create a my Social Security account to check and periodically monitor how many credits you have. Just go to www.ssa.gov/myaccount.
Q.: Will my retirement benefits increase if I wait and retire after my full retirement age?
Yes. You can increase your Social Security retirement benefit in two ways:
• You can increase your retirement benefit by a certain percentage if you delay receiving retirement benefits. We will add these increases automatically from the time you reach full retirement age until you start receiving benefits or reach age 70.
• If you work, each additional year you work adds another year of earnings to your Social Security record. Higher lifetime earnings may result in higher benefits when you do retire.
For more information, visit www.ssa.gov/pubs to read, print, or listen to our publication, When to Start Receiving Retirement Benefits. You also can use our Retirement Estimator at www.ssa.gov/estimator to determine your estimated future benefits.