Mandatory retirement


Q. I am an airline pilot and forced to retire at 65. Why am I penalized because I received Social Security at age 65 when it is forced retirement? I feel this is discrimination, and I am being unjustly penalized because if I was not forced to retire I could wait until full retirement age to get maximum Social Security benefits. How can I get the maximum benefits at age 65?

A. The mandatory retirement requirement is a matter of law. When you receive you Social Security benefit is a matter of choice. If you were born no later than 1937, you’d receive an unreduced Social Security benefit; the full retirement age increases by two months for each year after 1937, ending at age 67 for those born in 1960 or later. You have two choices if you were born after 1937:

1) Begin receiving a reduced benefit when you are first eligible or

2) Postpone receiving it until you are eligible for an unreduced benefit.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to


    • As a rule, no. However, you should check with your state unemployment office to see if there are any circumstances under which you could receive that benefit.

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