Social Security

Social Security is a federal government program that may provide you with monthly retirement benefits beginning anywhere between the ages of 62 and 70. The amount of your social security benefit depends on the age you start receiving benefits and your earnings over your working career. Employees are required to contribute a percentage of each paycheck, as is Northrop Grumman.

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You can begin receiving your reduced Social Security benefit as early as age 62, or you can wait to receive your full Social Security benefit. The age at which you are eligible to receive your full benefit depends on the year in which you were born, as shown in the chart below.

The amount of your Social Security benefit is determined by:

  • Your age at the time you start receiving benefits
  • Your earnings averaged over most of your working career, including the years you didn’t work but had the ability to do so, up to age 62

 Age You Can Receive Your Full Social Security Benefit

​Year of Your Birth

​Age Eligible to Receive Your Full SS Benefit

​1937 or earlier



​65 and 2 months


​65 and 4 months


​65 and 6 months


​65 and 8 months


​65 and 10 months

​1943 - 1954



​66 and 2 months


​66 and 4 months


​66 and 6 months


​66 and 8 months


​66 and 10 months

​1960 and later


You should apply for Social Security three months before you want your benefits to begin. You can apply in one of three ways:

  • Online at (access the "Internet Retirement Insurance Benefits" application)
  • By telephone at 800-772-1213
  • In person — call 800-772-1213 to make an appointment at your local Social Security office

When you apply for Social Security benefits, you may need original or certified copies of the following:

  • Social Security card
  • Birth certificate
  • Your most recent W-2 form
  • If you were in the military, your military discharge papers
  • If you are married and applying for spouse benefits, your marriage certificate, your spouse’s birth certificate and your spouse’s Social Security number
  • If you are applying for children’s benefits, your children's birth certificates and Social Security numbers
  • If you (or your spouse or child for whom you are applying for benefits) were not born in the U.S., proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status
  • The name of your bank and your account number so that your benefits can be deposited directly into your account

When you submit your documents, be sure to keep copies for yourself. If you do not have all of the required documents, contact your local Social Security office for help.

The Social Security Retirement Benefit Estimator is an online tool that offers a personalized estimate of your Social Security benefit based on your earnings.