You are here: Social Security Administration > Research, Statistics & Policy Analysis > Population Projection: Early Eligibility Age Beneficiaries in 2050

Population Projections

  1. American
    Indians and
    Alaska Natives
  2. Divorced
    Spousal
    Beneficiaries
  3. Early
    Eligibility Age
    Beneficiaries
  4.  Lifetime 
    Low
    Earners

  5.  Oldest 
    Old
  6.  Sporadic 
    Low
    Earners
  7. Spousal-
    Only
    Beneficiaries
  8. Survivor-
    Only
    Beneficiaries
  9. Women
    & Dual
    Entitlement

Early Eligibility Age Beneficiaries in 2050

Methodology »
Released: August 2021
Next expected update: 2023

DEFINITION: The full retirement age (FRA) is the age a beneficiary's full Social Security benefit is payable. The monthly benefit is permanently reduced for every month before FRA that a beneficiary receives benefits. The earliest eligibility age for retired worker and spousal benefits is 62. Beneficiaries who claim at 62 receive the largest benefit reduction.

In 2050, we project that:

  • 50 percent of beneficiaries who start benefits at age 62 will be women.
  • The poverty rate will be higher for beneficiaries who start benefits at age 62 compared with beneficiaries who start benefits at 63 or older.
  • A higher percentage of beneficiaries who start benefits at age 62 will be in lower earning households compared with beneficiaries who start benefits at age 63 or older.
  • Beneficiaries who start benefits at age 62 will have lower median benefits compared with beneficiaries who start benefits at 63 or older.
  • Beneficiaries have similar life expectancies regardless of claiming age.
Chart. Title: Population Characteristics: Percentage with characteristic. Pie chart series with tabular version below.
Show as table
Table equivalent for chart: Population Characteristics
Characteristic Beneficiaries who start benefits at age 62 Beneficiaries who start benefits at age 63 or older
Number of beneficiaries 27 million 40 million
Women 50% 52%
Below 100% of the poverty threshold  
Scheduled benefits 6% 2%
Payable benefits 10% 3%
Chart. Title: Median Death Age. Bar chart with tabular version below.
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Table equivalent for chart: Median Death Age
Sex Beneficiaries who start benefits at age 62 Beneficiaries who start benefits at age 63 or older
Women 92 93
Men 90 91
Chart. Title: Lifetime Shared Earnings: Percentage of beneficiaries in each earnings quintile. Bar chart with tabular version below.
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Table equivalent for chart: Lifetime Shared Earnings (percentage of beneficiaries in each earnings quintile)
Lifetime shared earnings quintile Beneficiaries who start benefits at age 62 Beneficiaries who start benefits at age 63 or older
Lowest 19 11
Second lowest 22 17
Middle 22 20
Second highest 20 23
Highest 16 29
Chart. Title: Median Benefit Amount: In 2021 dollars. Bar chart with tabular version below.
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Table equivalent for chart: Median Benefit Amount (in 2021 dollars)
Benefit type and sex Beneficiaries who start benefits at age 62 Beneficiaries who start benefits at age 63 or older
Scheduled benefits  
Women 1,435 2,245
Men 1,808 2,612
Payable benefits  
Women 1,148 1,796
Men 1,446 2,090

NOTE: Disabled beneficiaries, survivor beneficiaries who started benefits before age 62, and those who do not have enough credits at age 62 to qualify for benefits were not included in this analysis.

SOURCE: Modeling Income in the Near Term, Version 8 (MINT8) microsimulation model using 2019 Trustees Report intermediate assumptions.