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Population Profiles

  1. Child Beneficiaries
    & Poverty
  2. Fully Insured
    Workers
  3. Marital Status
    & Poverty
  4. Middle Class
    Beneficiaries
  5. Never
    Beneficiaries
  6. Taxable Maximum
    Earners
  7. Veteran
    Beneficiaries

Fully Insured Workers

Released: March 2020
Next expected update: 2022

DEFINITION: A worker is fully insured for retired-worker benefits after working at least 10 years (earning 40 Social Security credits) in a job where he or she paid Social Security taxes. The amount of earnings needed to earn one credit can vary slightly each year depending on the increase in the average earnings level, and a worker can earn up to four credits in a year.

MEN

  • From 1980 through 2018, the number of fully insured men aged 62–66 more than doubled, rising from 4.2 million to 8.8 million.
  • However, the percentage of fully insured men aged 62–66 increased by only 1 percentage point from 93 percent to 94 percent.
  • About one-fourth of state and local government workers do not pay Social Security taxes and, therefore, are not covered by the program, and a relatively small number of individuals are disabled throughout their adult lives. Consequently, the percentage of fully insured men is unlikely to rise much above 94 percent.

WOMEN

  • Because of a long-term rise in the employment rate among women of all ages, both the number and the proportion of fully insured women have increased.
  • From 1980 through 2018, the number of fully insured women aged 62–66 rose from 3.4 million to 9.0 million, and the proportion increased from 65 percent to 89 percent.

In 2018, the number of fully insured women aged 62–66 (9.0 million) exceeded the number of fully insured men the same age (8.8 million). Nevertheless, the percentage of fully insured women in this age group (89 percent) remained lower than the percentage of fully insured men (94 percent).

Men and Women Aged 62–66a Fully Insured for Social Security Retired-Worker Benefits, 1980–2018
Bar chart linked to data in table format.
a. End-of-year age.
b. As a percentage of the Social Security area population of the same age.
SOURCES: Office of the Chief Actuary and Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, Social Security Administration.