When Social Security payments for retirees started in 1935, payments began at age 65. However, back in 1935 the life expectancy was an average of 61.7 years for men and women.

The U.S. Deficit Commission recommended raising the age to receive full benefits  to age 68 by 2050 and age 69 by 2075 as a way to cut the deficit. 

Currently the full retirement age is 67 for those born in 1960 and later.

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Ray Holman, legislative liaison at Michigan's UAW Local 6000, acknowledged that people are living longer, but was against raising the age to receive full benefits.

"People who do rely on those benefits are the working poor and the middle class," Holman said.

He said a better to reduce the deficit was to tax people in higher income brackets.

Michael LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said raising the full-benefits retirement age was the "least the federal government should do."

"It's for retirees in the future whose life expectancy could be even longer than it is today," LaFaive said. "Hiking it to 70 for today's 18 year olds is not unreasonable."


See also:

Social Security Explained