by Mark Miller

Fewer Americans are asking Social Security to “show me the money” as soon as possible.

The share of workers claiming Social Security retirement benefits at the earliest possible date has plunged in recent years. That probably reflects growing public awareness of the higher annual benefits available through delayed claiming. But it may also be driven by the dramatic shift by employers away from traditional pension retirement coverage, and toward 401(k) savings plans.

Retiring workers can claim Social Security anytime from age 62 to 70. The benefit formula is designed to be “actuarially fair,” meaning all claimants should come out roughly equal no matter when they claim.

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