Social Security Primary Insurance Amount (PIA)

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Benefit Fact Sheet

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Summary:

The "primary insurance amount" (PIA) is the benefit (before rounding down to next lower whole dollar) a person would receive if he or she elects to begin receiving retirement benefits at his or her normal retirement age. At this age, the benefit is neither reduced for early retirement nor increased for delayed retirement.

Eligibility:

An individual's Social Security retirement or Social Security benefits are based upon the individual's time and earnings in Social Security-covered employment and the age at which he or she leaves the labor force.

 

Benefit Highlights:

Social Security benefits are typically computed using " average indexed monthly earnings (AIME)." This average summarizes up to 35 years of a worker's earnings. The Social Security Administration applies a formula to this average to compute the PIA. The PIA is the basis for the benefits that are paid to an individual.

The formula used to compute the PIA, called the PIA formula, reflects changes in general wage levels, as measured by the national average wage index. The PIA is the sum of three separate percentages of portions of average indexed monthly earnings. The portions depend on the year in which a worker attains age 62, becomes disabled before age 62, or dies before attaining age 62.

The normal retirement age (NRA) is the age at which retirement benefits (before rounding) are equal to the PIA. The table below shows how NRA varies by year of birth for retirees.

 

Normal Retirement Age

Year of Birth Age
1937 and prior 65
1938 65 and 2 months
1939 65 and 4 months
1940 65 and 6 months
1941 65 and 8 months
1942 65 and 10 months
1943-1954 66
1955 66 and 2 months
1956 66 and 4 months
1957 66 and 6 months
1958 66 and 8 months
1959 66 and 10 months
1960 and later 67

Notes:
1. Persons born on January 1 of any year should refer to the normal retirement age for the previous year.
2. For the purpose of determining benefit reductions for early retirement, widows and widowers whose entitlement is based on having attained age 60 should add 2 years to the year of birth shown in the table.

Additional Information:

For more information regarding Social Security PIA, please refer to:
https://www.ssa.gov/oact/COLA/Benefits.html

https://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/piaformula.html

Social Security Quick Calculator:

https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/quickcalc/

Social Security Calculator for Retirement, Disability and Survivor Benefits Estimate:
https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/AnypiaApplet.html

To estimate your Social Security benefit based on your earnings:
https://www.ssa.gov/retire/estimator.html


Document Review Date: 13 May 2016