Estimate your benefit
Full retirement age
How retirement benefits are computed
The following two methods for computing retirement benefits were more
common in the past, but today have very limited applicability.
Old-law Benefit Tables
For eligibility before 1979, benefits are determined by means of a
benefit table. Each year the primary insurance amounts and the maximum
family benefits shown in the table are updated to reflect the latest
cost-of-living increase. In addition, the
table is extended to reflect the higher monthly wage and related benefit possible
under the latest contribution and benefit base.
Such benefit tables
for eligibility before 1979, sometimes called old-law benefit
tables, are available beginning with the table for 1959.
Special Minimum Benefit Tables
"Special minimum" benefits are payable to certain individuals
with long periods of relatively low earnings. To qualify for such
benefits, an individual must have at least 11 "years
of coverage." To earn a year of coverage for purposes of the special
minimum, a person must earn at least a certain proportion (25 percent for
years before 1991, and 15 percent for years after 1990) of the
"old-law" contribution and benefit base.
Tables showing the range of special
minimum primary insurance amounts and corresponding maximum
family benefit amounts are available for 1973 and later.