# 20 CFR 404.410 - How does SSA reduce my benefits when my entitlement begins before full retirement age?

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§ 404.410 How does SSA reduce my benefits when my entitlement begins before full retirement age?
Generally your old-age, wife's, husband's, widow's, or widower's benefits are reduced if entitlement begins before the month you attain full retirement age (as defined in § 404.409). However, your benefits as a wife or husband are not reduced for any month in which you have in your care a child of the worker on whose earnings record you are entitled. The child must be entitled to child's benefits. Your benefits as a widow or widower are not reduced below the benefit amount you would receive as a mother or father for any month in which you have in your care a child of the worker on whose record you are entitled. The child must be entitled to child's benefits. Subject to §§ 404.411 through 404.413, reductions in benefits are made in the amounts described.
(a) How does SSA reduce my old-age benefits? The reduction in your primary insurance amount is based on the number of months of entitlement prior to the month you attain full retirement age. The reduction is 5/9 of 1 percent for each of the first 36 months and 5/12 of 1 percent for each month in excess of 36.
Example:
Alex's full retirement age for unreduced benefits is 65 years and 8 months. She elects to begin receiving benefits at age 62. Her primary insurance amount of \$980.50 must be reduced because of her entitlement to benefits 44 months prior to full retirement age. The reduction is 36 months at 5/9 of 1 percent and 8 months at 5/12 of 1 percent.
980.50 × 36 × 5/9 × .01 = \$196.10
980.50 × 8 × 5/12 × .01 = \$ 32.68
The two added together equal a total reduction of \$228.78. This amount is rounded to \$228.80 (the next higher multiple of 10 cents) and deducted from the primary insurance amount. The resulting \$751.70 is the monthly benefit payable.
(b) How does SSA reduce my wife's or husband's benefits? Your wife's or husband's benefits before any reduction (see §§ 404.304 and 404.333) are reduced first (if necessary) for the family maximum under § 404.403. They are then reduced based on the number of months of entitlement prior to the month you attain full retirement age. This does not include any month in which you have a child of the worker on whose earnings record you are entitled in your care. The child must be entitled to child benefits. The reduction is 25/36 of 1 percent for each of the first 36 months and 5/12 of 1 percent for each month in excess of 36.
Example:
Sam is entitled to old-age benefits. His spouse Ashley elects to begin receiving wife's benefits at age 63. Her full retirement age for unreduced benefits is 65 and 4 months. Her benefit will be reduced for 28 months of entitlement prior to full retirement age. If her unreduced benefit is \$412.40 the reduction will be \$412.40 × 28 × 25/36 × .01. The resulting \$80.18 is rounded to \$80.20 (the next higher multiple of 10 cents) and subtracted from \$412.40 to determine the monthly benefit amount of \$332.20.
(c) How does SSA reduce my widow's or widower's benefits? Your entitlement to widow's or widower's benefits may begin at age 60 based on age or at age 50 based on disability. Refer to § 404.335 for more information on the requirements for entitlement. Both types are reduced if entitlement begins prior to attainment of full retirement age (as defined in § 404.409).
(1) Widow's or widower's benefits based on age. Your widow's or widower's unreduced benefit amount (the worker's primary insurance amount after any reduction for the family maximum under § 404.403), is reduced or further reduced based on the number of months of entitlement prior to the month you attain full retirement age. This does not include any month in which you have in your care a child of the worker on whose earnings record you are entitled. The child must be entitled to child's benefits. The number of months of entitlement prior to full retirement age is multiplied by .285 and then divided by the number of months in the period beginning with the month of attainment of age 60 and ending with the month immediately before the month of attainment of full retirement age.
Example:
Ms. Bogle is entitled to an unreduced widow benefit of \$785.70 beginning at age 64. Her full retirement age for unreduced old-age benefits is 65 years and 4 months. She will receive benefits for 16 months prior to attainment of full retirement age. The number of months in the period from age 60 through full retirement age of 65 and 4 months is 64. The reduction in her benefit is \$785.70 × 16 × .285 divided by 64 or \$55.98. \$55.98 is rounded to the next higher multiple of 10 cents (\$56.00) and subtracted from \$785.70. The result is a monthly benefit of \$729.70.
(2) Widow's or widower's benefits based on disability.
(i) For months after December 1983, your widow's or widower's benefits are not reduced for months of entitlement prior to age 60. You are deemed to be age 60 in your month of entitlement to disabled widow's or widower's benefits and your benefits are reduced only under paragraph (c)(1) of this section.
(ii) For months from January 1973 through December 1983, benefits as a disabled widow or widower were reduced under paragraph (c)(1) of this section. The benefits were then subject to an additional reduction of 43/240 of one percent for each month of entitlement prior to age 60 based on disability.
(3) Widow's or widower's benefits prior to 1973. For months prior to January 1973 benefits as a widow or widower were reduced only for months of entitlement prior to age 62. The reduction was 5/9 of one percent for each month of entitlement from the month of attainment of age 60 through the month prior to the month of attainment of age 62. There was an additional reduction of 43/198 of one percent for each month of entitlement prior to age 60 based on disability.
(d) If my benefits are reduced under this section does SSA ever change the reduction? The reduction computed under paragraphs (a), (b) or (c) of this section may later be adjusted to eliminate reduction for certain months of entitlement prior to full retirement age as provided in § 404.412. For special provisions on reducing benefits for months prior to full retirement age involving entitlement to two or more benefits, see § 404.411.
(e) Are my widow's or widower's benefits affected if the deceased worker was entitled to old-age benefits? If the deceased individual was entitled to old-age benefits, see § 404.338 for special rules that may affect your reduced widow's or widower's benefits.
[68 FR 4708, Jan. 30, 2003]

Title 20 published on 2012-04-01.

The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 20.

For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.

• 2015-05-20; vol. 80 # 97 - Wednesday, May 20, 2015
1. 80 FR 28821 - Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)
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Final rule.
This rule is effective July 20, 2015.
20 CFR Part 404

Title 20 published on 2012-04-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 20 CFR Part 404 after this date.

• 2015-05-20; vol. 80 # 97 - Wednesday, May 20, 2015
1. 80 FR 28821 - Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)
GPO FDSys XML | Text