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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of December 18, 2014

Title 20Chapter IIIPart 404 → Subpart C


Title 20: Employees' Benefits
PART 404—FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS AND DISABILITY INSURANCE (1950-      )


Subpart C—Computing Primary Insurance Amounts


Contents

General

§404.201   What is included in this subpart?
§404.202   Other regulations related to this subpart.
§404.203   Definitions.
§404.204   Methods of computing primary insurance amounts—general.

Average-Indexed-Monthly-Earnings Method of Computing Primary Insurance Amounts

§404.210   Average-indexed-monthly-earnings method.
§404.211   Computing your average indexed monthly earnings.
§404.212   Computing your primary insurance amount from your average indexed monthly earnings.
§404.213   Computation where you are eligible for a pension based on your noncovered employment.

Average-Monthly-Wage Method of Computing Primary Insurance Amounts

§404.220   Average-monthly-wage method.
§404.221   Computing your average monthly wage.
§404.222   Use of benefit table in finding your primary insurance amount from your average monthly wage.

Guaranteed Alternative for People Reaching Age 62 After 1978 but Before 1984

§404.230   Guaranteed alternative.
§404.231   Steps in computing your primary insurance amount under the guaranteed alternative—general.
§404.232   Computing your average monthly wage under the guaranteed alternative.
§404.233   Adjustment of your guaranteed alternative when you become entitled after age 62.

Old-Start Method of Computing Primary Insurance Amounts

§404.240   Old-start method—general.
§404.241   1977 simplified old-start method.
§404.242   Use of old-start primary insurance amount as guaranteed alternative.
§404.243   Computation where you are eligible for a pension based on noncovered employment.

Special Computation Rules for People Who Had a Period of Disability

§404.250   Special computation rules for people who had a period of disability.
§404.251   Subsequent entitlement to benefits less than 12 months after entitlement to disability benefits ended.
§404.252   Subsequent entitlement to benefits 12 months or more after entitlement to disability benefits ended.

Special Minimum Primary Insurance Amounts

§404.260   Special minimum primary insurance amounts.
§404.261   Computing your special minimum primary insurance amount.

Cost-of-Living Increases

§404.270   Cost-of-living increases.
§404.271   When automatic cost-of-living increases apply.
§404.272   Indexes we use to measure the rise in the cost-of-living.
§404.273   When are automatic cost-of-living increases effective?
§404.274   What are the measuring periods we use to calculate cost-of-living increases?
§404.275   How is an automatic cost-of-living increase calculated?
§404.276   Publication of notice of increase.
§404.277   When does the frozen minimum primary insurance amount increase because of cost-of-living adjustments?
§404.278   Additional cost-of-living increase.

Recomputing Your Primary Insurance Amount

§404.280   Recomputations.
§404.281   Why your primary insurance amount may be recomputed.
§404.282   Effective date of recomputations.
§404.283   Recomputation under method other than that used to find your primary insurance amount.
§404.284   Recomputations for people who reach age 62, or become disabled, or die before age 62 after 1978.
§404.285   Recomputations performed automatically.
§404.286   How to request an immediate recomputation.
§404.287   Waiver of recomputation.
§404.288   Recomputing when you are entitled to a monthly pension based on noncovered employment.

Recalculations of Primary Insurance Amounts

§404.290   Recalculations.
Appendixes to Subpart C of Part 404—Note
Appendix I to Subpart C of Part 404—Average of the Total Wages for Years After 1950
Appendix II to Subpart C of Part 404—Benefit Formulas Used With Average Indexed Monthly Earnings
Appendix III to Subpart C of Part 404—Benefit Table
Appendix IV to Subpart C of Part 404—Earnings Needed for a Year of Coverage After 1950
Appendix V to Subpart C of Part 404—Computing the Special Minimum Primary Insurance Amount and Related Maximum Family Benefits
Appendix VI to Subpart C of Part 404—Percentage of Automatic Increases in Primary Insurance Amounts Since 1978
Appendix VII to Subpart C of Part 404—“Old-Law” Contribution and Benefit Base

Authority: Secs. 202(a), 205(a), 215, and 702(a)(5) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 402(a), 405(a), 415, and 902(a)(5)).

Source: 47 FR 30734, July 15, 1982, unless otherwise noted.

General

§404.201   What is included in this subpart?

In this subpart we describe how we compute your primary insurance amount (PIA), how and when we will recalculate or recompute your PIA to include credit for additional earnings, and how we automatically adjust your PIA to reflect changes in the cost of living.

(a) What is my primary insurance amount? Your primary insurance amount (PIA) is the basic figure we use to determine the monthly benefit amount payable to you and your family. For example, if you retire in the month you attain full retirement age (as defined in §404.409) or if you become disabled, you will be entitled to a monthly benefit equal to your PIA. If you retire prior to full retirement age your monthly benefit will be reduced as explained in §§404.410-404.413. Benefits to other members of your family are a specified percentage of your PIA as explained in subpart D. Total benefits to your family are subject to a maximum as explained in §404.403.

(b) How is this subpart organized? (1) In §§404.201 through 404.204, we explain some introductory matters.

(2) In §§404.210 through 404.213, we describe the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method we use to compute the primary insurance amount (PIA) for workers who attain age 62 (or become disabled or die before age 62) after 1978.

(3) In §§404.220 through 404.222, we describe the average-monthly-wage method we use to compute the PIA for workers who attain age 62 (or become disabled or die before age 62) before 1979.

(4) In §§404.230 through 404.233, we describe the guaranteed alternative method we use to compute the PIA for people who attain age 62 after 1978 but before 1984.

(5) In §§404.240 through 404.243, we describe the old-start method we use to compute the PIA for those who had all or substantially all of their social security covered earnings before 1951.

(6) In §§404.250 through 404.252, we describe special rules we use to compute the PIA for a worker who previously had a period of disability.

(7) In §§404.260 through 404.261, we describe how we compute the special minimum PIA for long-term, low-paid workers.

(8) In §§404.270 through 404.278, we describe how we automatically increase your PIA because of increases in the cost of living.

(9) In §§404.280 through 404.288, we describe how and when we will recompute your PIA to include additional earnings which were not used in the original computation.

(10) In §404.290 we describe how and when we will recalculate your PIA.

(11) Appendices I-VII contain material such as figures and formulas that we use to compute PIAs.

[68 FR 4701, Jan. 30, 2003]

§404.202   Other regulations related to this subpart.

This subpart is related to several others. In subpart B of this part, we describe how you become insured for social security benefits as a result of your work in covered employment. In subpart D, we discuss the different kinds of social security benefits available—old-age and disability benefits for you and benefits for your dependents and survivors—the amount of the benefits, and the requirements you and your family must meet to qualify for them; your work status, your age, the size of your family, and other factors may affect the amount of the benefits for you and your family. Rules relating to deductions, reductions, and nonpayment of benefits we describe in subpart E. In subpart F of this part, we describe what we do when a recalculation or recomputation of your primary insurance amount (as described in this subpart) results in our finding that you and your family have been overpaid or underpaid. In subparts G and H of this part, we tell how to apply for benefits and what evidence is needed to establish entitlement to them. In subpart J of this part, we describe how benefits are paid. Then in subparts I, K, N, and O of this part, we discuss your earnings that are taxable and creditable for social security purposes (and how we keep records of them), and deemed military wage credits which may be used in finding your primary insurance amount.

§404.203   Definitions.

(a) General definitions. As used in this subpart—

Ad hoc increase in primary insurance amounts means an increase in primary insurance amounts enacted by the Congress and signed into law by the President.

Entitled means that a person has applied for benefits and has proven his or her right to them for a given period of time.

We, us, or our means the Social Security Administration.

You or your means the insured worker who has applied for benefits or a deceased insured worker on whose social security earnings record someone else has applied.

(b) Other definitions. To make it easier to find them, we have placed other definitions in the sections of this subpart in which they are used.

[47 FR 30734, July 15, 1982, as amended at 62 FR 38450, July 18, 1997]

§404.204   Methods of computing primary insurance amounts—general.

(a) General. We compute most workers' primary insurance amounts under one of two major methods. There are, in addition, several special methods of computing primary insurance amounts which we apply to some workers. Your primary insurance amount is the highest of all those computed under the methods for which you are eligible.

(b) Major methods. (1) If after 1978 you reach age 62, or become disabled or die before age 62, we compute your primary insurance amount under what we call the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method, which is described in §§404.210 through 404.212. The earliest of the three dates determines the computation method we use.

(2) If before 1979 you reached age 62, became disabled, or died, we compute your primary insurance amount under what we call the average-monthly-wage method, described in §§404.220 through 404.222.

(c) Special methods. (1) Your primary insurance amount, computed under any of the special methods for which you are eligible as described in this paragraph, may be substituted for your primary insurance amount computed under either major method described in paragraph (b) of this section.

(2) If you reach age 62 during the period 1979-1983, your primary insurance amount is guaranteed to be the highest of—

(i) The primary insurance amount we compute for you under the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method;

(ii) The primary insurance amount we compute for you under the average-monthly-wage method, as modified by the rules described in §§404.230 through 404.233; or

(iii) The primary insurance amount computed under what we call the old-start method; as described in §§404.240 through 404.242.

(3) If you had all or substantially all of your social security earnings before 1951, we will also compute your primary insurance amount under what we call the old-start method.

(4) We compute your primary insurance amount under the rules in §§404.250 through 404.252, if—

(i) You were disabled and received social security disability insurance benefits sometime in your life;

(ii) Your disability insurance benefits were terminated because of your recovery or because you engaged in substantial gainful activity; and

(iii) You are, after 1978, re-entitled to disability insurance benefits, or entitled to old-age insurance benefits, or have died.

(5) In some situations, we use what we call a special minimum computation, described in §§404.260 through 404.261, to find your primary insurance amount. Computations under this method reflect long-term, low-wage attachment to covered work.

Average-Indexed-Monthly-Earnings Method of Computing Primary Insurance Amounts

§404.210   Average-indexed-monthly-earnings method.

(a) Who is eligible for this method. If after 1978, you reach age 62, or become disabled or die before age 62, we will compute your primary insurance amount under the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method.

(b) Steps in computing your primary insurance amount under the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method. We follow these three major steps in computing your primary insurance amount:

(1) First, we find your average indexed monthly earnings, as described in §404.211;

(2) Second, we find the benefit formula in effect for the year you reach age 62, or become disabled or die before age 62, as described in §404.212; and

(3) Then, we apply that benefit formula to your average indexed monthly earnings to find your primary insurance amount, as described in §404.212.

(4) Next, we apply any automatic cost-of-living or ad hoc increases in primary insurance amounts that became effective in or after the year you reached age 62, unless you are receiving benefits based on the minimum primary insurance amount, in which case not all the increases may be applied, as described in §404.277.

§404.211   Computing your average indexed monthly earnings.

(a) General. In this method, your social security earnings after 1950 are indexed, as described in paragraph (d) of this section, then averaged over the period of time you can reasonably have been expected to have worked in employment or self-employment covered by social security. (Your earnings before 1951 are not used in finding your average indexed monthly earnings.)

(b) Which earnings may be used in computing your average indexed monthly earnings—(1) Earnings. In computing your average indexed monthly earnings, we use wages, compensation, self-employment income, and deemed military wage credits (see §§404.1340 through 404.1343) that are creditable to you for social security purposes for years after 1950.

(2) Computation base years. We use your earnings in your computation base years in finding your average indexed monthly earnings. All years after 1950 up to (but not including) the year you become entitled to old-age or disability insurance benefits, and through the year you die if you had not been entitled to old-age or disability benefits, are computation base years for you. The year you become entitled to benefits and following years may be used as computation base years in a recomputation if their use would result in a higher primary insurance amount. (See §§404.280 through 404.287.) However, years after the year you die may not be used as computation base years even if you have earnings credited to you in those years. Computation base years do not include years wholly within a period of disability unless your primary insurance amount would be higher by using the disability years. In such situations, we count all the years during the period of disability, even if you had no earnings in some of them.

(c) Average of the total wages. Before we compute your average indexed monthly earnings, we must first know the “average of the total wages” of all workers for each year from 1951 until the second year before you become eligible. The average of the total wages for years after 1950 are shown in appendix I. Corresponding figures for more recent years which have not yet been incorporated into this appendix are published in the Federal Register on or before November 1 of the succeeding year. “Average of the total wages” (or “average wage”) means:

(1) For the years 1951 through 1977, four times the amount of average taxable wages that were reported to the Social Security Administration for the first calendar quarter of each year for social security tax purposes. For years prior to 1973, these average wages were determined from a sampling of these reports.

(2) For the years 1978 through 1990, all remuneration reported as wages on Form W-2 to the Internal Revenue Service for all employees for income tax purposes, divided by the number of wage earners. We adjusted those averages to make them comparable to the averages for 1951-1977. For years after 1977, the term includes remuneration for services not covered by social security and remuneration for covered employment in excess of that which is subject to FICA contributions.

(3) For years after 1990, all remuneration reported as wages on Form W-2 to the Internal Revenue Service for all employees for income tax purposes, including remuneration described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, plus contributions to certain deferred compensation plans described in section 209(k) of the Social Security Act (also reported on Form W-2), divided by the number of wage earners. If both distributions from and contributions to any such deferred compensation plan are reported on Form W-2, we will include only the contributions in the calculation of the average of the total wages. We will adjust those averages to make them comparable to the averages for 1951-1990.

(d) Indexing your earnings. (1) The first step in indexing your social security earnings is to find the relationship (under paragraph (d)(2) of this section) between—

(i) The average wage of all workers in your computation base years; and

(ii) The average wage of all workers in your indexing year. As a general rule, your indexing year is the second year before the earliest of the year you reach age 62, or become disabled or die before age 62. However, your indexing year is determined under paragraph (d)(4) of this section if you die before age 62, your surviving spouse or surviving divorced spouse is first eligible for benefits after 1984, and the indexing year explained in paragraph (d)(4) results in a higher widow(er)'s benefit than results from determining the indexing year under the general rule.

(2) To find the relationship, we divide the average wages for your indexing year, in turn, by the average wages for each year beginning with 1951 and ending with your indexing year. We use the quotients found in these divisions to index your earnings as described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

(3) The second step in indexing your social security earnings is to multiply the actual year-by-year dollar amounts of your earnings (up to the maximum amounts creditable, as explained in §§404.1047 and 404.1096 of this part) by the quotients found in paragraph (d)(2) of this section for each of those years. We round the results to the nearer penny. (The quotient for your indexing year is 1.0; this means that your earnings in that year are used in their actual dollar amount; any earnings after your indexing year that may be used in computing your average indexed monthly earnings are also used in their actual dollar amount.)

Example: Ms. A reaches age 62 in July 1979. Her year-by-year social security earnings since 1950 are as follows:
YearEarnings
1951$3,200
19523,400
19533,300
19543,600
19553,700
19563,700
19574,000
19584,200
19594,400
19604,500
19612,800
19622,200
19630
19640
19653,700
19664,500
19675,400
19686,200
19696,900
19707,300
19717,500
19727,800
19738,200
19749,000
19759,900
197611,100
19779,900
197811,000
Step 1. The first step in indexing Ms. A's earnings is to find the relationship between the general wage level in Ms. A's indexing year (1977) and the general wage level in each of the years 1951-1976. We refer to appendix I for average wage figures, and perform the following computations:
YearI. 1977 general wage levelII. Nationwide average of the total wagesIII. Column I divided by column II equals relationship
1951$9,779.44$2,799.163.4937053
19529,779.442,973.323.2890641
19539,779.443,139.443.1150269
19549,779.443,155.643.0990354
19559,779.443,301.442.9621741
19569,779.443,532.362.7685287
19579,779.443,641.722.6853904
19589,779.443,673.802.6619413
19599,779.443,855.802.5362934
19609,779.444,007.122.4405159
19619,779.444,086.762.3929568
19629,779.444,291.402.2788461
19639,779.444,396.642.2242986
19649,779.444,576.322.1369659
19659,779.444,658.722.0991689
19669,779.444,938.361.9803012
19679,779.445,213.441.8758133
19689,779.445,571.761.7551797
19699,779.445,893.761.6592871
19709,779.446,186.241.5808375
19719,779.446,497.081.5052054
19729,779.447,133.801.3708599
19739,779.447,580.161.2901364
19749,779.448,030.761.2177478
19759,779.448,630.921.1330704
19769,779.449,226.481.0599318
19779,779.449,779.441.0000000
Step 2. After we have found these indexing quotients, we multiply Ms. A's actual year-by-year earnings by them to find her indexed earnings, as shown below:
YearI. Actual earningsII. Indexing quotientIII. Column I multiplied by column II equals indexed earnings
1951$3,2003.4937053$11,179.86
19523,4003.289064111,182.82
19533,3003.115026910,279.59
19543,6003.099035411,156.53
19553,7002.962174110,960.04
19563,7002.768528710,243.56
19574,0002.685390410,741.56
19584,2002.661941311,180.15
19594,4002.536293411,159.69
19604,5002.440515910,982.32
19612,8002.39295686,700.28
19622,2002.27884615,013.46
196302.22429860
196402.13696590
19653,7002.09916897,766.92
19664,5001.98030128,911.36
19675,4001.875813310,129.39
19686,2001.755179710,882.11
19696,9001.659287111,449.08
19707,3001.580837511,540.11
19717,5001.505205411,289.04
19727,8001.370859910,692.71
19738,2001.290136410,579.12
19749,0001.217747810,959.73
19759,9001.133070411,217.40
197611,1001.059931811,765.24
19779,9001.00000009,900.00
197811,000011,000.00

(4) We calculate your indexing year under this paragraph if you, the insured worker, die before reaching age 62, your surviving spouse or surviving divorced spouse is first eligible after 1984, and the indexing year calculated under this paragraph results in a higher widow(er)'s benefit than results from the indexing year calculated under the general rule explained in paragraph (d)(1)(ii). For purposes of this paragraph, the indexing year is never earlier than the second year before the year of your death. Except for this limitation, the indexing year is the earlier of—

(i) The year in which you, the insured worker, attained age 60, or would have attained age 60 if you had lived, and

(ii) The second year before the year in which the surviving spouse or the surviving divorced spouse becomes eligible for widow(er)'s benefits, i.e., has attained age 60, or is age 50-59 and disabled.

(e) Number of years to be considered in finding your average indexed monthly earnings. To find the number of years to be used in computing your average indexed monthly earnings—

(1) We count the years beginning with 1951, or (if later) the year you reach age 22, and ending with the earliest of the year before you reach age 62, become disabled, or die. Years wholly or partially within a period of disability (as defined in §404.1501(b) of subpart P of this part) are not counted unless your primary insurance amount would be higher. In that case, we count all the years during the period of disability, even though you had no earnings in some of those years. These are your elapsed years. From your elapsed years, we then subtract up to 5 years, the exact number depending on the kind of benefits to which you are entitled. You cannot, under this procedure, have fewer than 2 benefit computation years.

(2) For computing old-age insurance benefits and survivors insurance benefits, we subtract 5 from the number of your elapsed years. See paragraphs (e) (3) and (4) of this section for the dropout as applied to disability benefits. This is the number of your benefit computation years; we use the same number of your computation base years (see paragraph (b)(2) of this section) in computing your average indexed monthly earnings. For benefit computation years, we use the years with the highest amounts of earnings after indexing. They may include earnings from years that were not indexed, and must include years of no earnings if you do not have sufficient years with earnings. You cannot have fewer than 2 benefit computation years.

(3) Where the worker is first entitled to disability insurance benefits (DIB) after June 1980, there is an exception to the usual 5 year dropout provision explained in paragraph (e)(2) of this section. (For entitlement before July 1980, we use the usual dropout.) We call this exception the disability dropout. We divide the elapsed years by 5 and disregard any fraction. The result, which may not exceed 5, is the number of dropout years. We subtract that number from the number of elapsed years to get the number of benefit computation years, which may not be fewer than 2. After the worker dies, the disability dropout no longer applies and we use the basic 5 dropout years to compute benefits for survivors. We continue to apply the disability dropout when a person becomes entitled to old-age insurance benefits (OAIB), unless his or her entitlement to DIB ended at least 12 months before he or she became eligible for OAIB. For first DIB entitlement before July 1980, we use the rule in paragraph (e)(2) of this section.

(4) For benefits payable after June 1981, the disability dropout might be increased by the child care dropout. If the number of disability dropout years is fewer than 3, we will drop out a benefit computation year for each benefit computation year that the worker meets the child care requirement and had no earnings, until the total of all dropout years is 3. The child care requirement for any year is that the worker must have been living with his or her child (or his or her spouse's child) substantially throughout any part of any calendar year that the child was alive and under age 3. In actual practice, no more than 2 child care years may be dropped, because of the combined effect of the number of elapsed years, 1-for-5 dropout years (if any), and the computation years required for the computation.

Example: Ms. M., born August 4, 1953, became entitled to disability insurance benefits (DIB) beginning in July 1980 based on a disability which began January 15, 1980. In computing the DIB, we determined that the elapsed years are 1975 through 1979, the number of dropout years is 1 (5 elapsed years divided by 5), and the number of computation years is 4. Since Ms. M. had no earnings in 1975 and 1976, we drop out 1975 and use her earnings for the years 1977 through 1979.

Ms. M. lived with her child, who was born in 1972, in all months of 1973 and 1974 and did not have any earnings in those years. We, therefore, recompute Ms. M.'s DIB beginning with July 1981 to give her the advantage of the child care dropout. To do this, we reduce the 4 computation years by 1 child care year to get 3 computation years. Because the child care dropout cannot be applied to computation years in which the worker had earnings, we can drop only one of Ms. M.'s computation years, i.e., 1976, in addition to the year 1975 which we dropped in the initial computation.

(i) Living with means that you and the child ordinarily live in the same home and you exercise, or have the right to exercise, parental control. See §404.366(c) for a further explanation.

(ii) Substantially throughout any part of any calendar year means that any period you were not living with the child during a calendar year did not exceed 3 months. If the child was either born or attained age 3 during the calendar year, the period of absence in the year cannot have exceeded the smaller period of 3 months, or one-half the time after the child's birth or before the child attained age 3.

(iii) Earnings means wages for services rendered and net earnings from self-employment minus any net loss for a taxable year. See §404.429 for a further explanation.

(f) Your average indexed monthly earnings. After we have indexed your earnings and found your benefit computation years, we compute your average indexed monthly earnings by—

(1) Totalling your indexed earnings in your benefit computation years;

(2) Dividing the total by the number of months in your benefit computation years; and

(3) Rounding the quotient to the next lower whole dollar. if not already a multiple of $1.

Example: From the example in paragraph (d) of this section, we see that Ms. A reaches age 62 in 1979. Her elapsed years are 1951-1978 (28 years). We subtract 5 from her 28 elapsed years to find that we must use 23 benefit computation years. This means that we will use her 23 highest computation base years to find her average indexed monthly earnings. We exclude the 5 years 1961-1965 and total her indexed earnings for the remaining years, i.e., the benefit computation years (including her unindexed earnings in 1977 and 1978) and get $249,381.41. We then divide that amount by the 276 months in her 23 benefit computation years and find her average indexed monthly earnings to be $903.56, which is rounded down to $903.

[47 FR 30734, July 15, 1982; 47 FR 35479, Aug. 13, 1982, as amended at 48 FR 11695, Mar. 21, 1983; 51 FR 4482, Feb. 5, 1986; 57 FR 1381, Jan. 14, 1992]

§404.212   Computing your primary insurance amount from your average indexed monthly earnings.

(a) General. We compute your primary insurance amount under the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method by applying a benefit formula to your average indexed monthly earnings.

(b) Benefit formula. (1) We use the applicable benefit formula in appendix II for the year you reach age 62, become disabled, or die whichever occurs first. If you die before age 62, and your surviving spouse or surviving divorced spouse is first eligible after 1984, we may compute the primary insurance amount, for the purpose of paying benefits to your widow(er), as if you had not died but reached age 62 in the second year after the indexing year that we computed under the provisions of §404.211(d)(4). We will not use this primary insurance amount for computing benefit amounts for your other survivors or for computing the maximum family benefits payable on your earnings record. Further, we will only use this primary insurance amount if it results in a higher widow(er)'s benefit than would result if we did not use this special computation.

(2) The dollar amounts in the benefit formula are automatically increased each year for persons who attain age 62, or who become disabled or die before age 62 in that year, by the same percentage as the increase in the average of the total wages (see appendix I).

(3) We will publish benefit formulas for years after 1979 in the Federal Register at the same time we publish the average of the total wage figures. We begin to use a new benefit formula as soon as it is applicable, even before we periodically update appendix II.

(4) We may use a modified formula, as explained in §404.213, if you are entitled to a pension based on your employment which was not covered by Social Security.

(c) Computing your primary insurance amount from the benefit formula. We compute your primary insurance amount by applying the benefit formula to your average indexed monthly earnings and adding the results for each step of the formula. For computations using the benefit formulas in effect for 1979 through 1982, we round the total amount to the next higher multiple of $0.10 if it is not a multiple of $0.10 and for computations using the benefit formulas effective for 1983 and later years, we round to the next lower multiple of $0.10. (See paragraph (e) of this section for a discussion of the minimum primary insurance amount.)

(d) Adjustment of your primary insurance amount when entitlement to benefits occurs in a year after attainment of age 62, disability or death. If you (or your survivors) do not become entitled to benefits in the same year you reach age 62, become disabled, or die before age 62, we compute your primary insurance amount by—

(1) Computing your average indexed monthly earnings as described in §404.211;

(2) Applying to your average indexed monthly earnings the benefit formula for the year in which you reach age 62, or become disabled or die before age 62; and

(3) Applying to the primary insurance amount all automatic cost-of-living and ad hoc increases in primary insurance amounts that have gone into effect in or after the year you reached age 62, became disabled, or died before age 62. (See §404.277 for special rules on minimum benefits, and appendix VI for a table of percentage increases in primary insurance amounts since December 1978. Increases in primary insurance amounts are published in the Federal Register and we periodically update appendix VI.)

(e) Minimum primary insurance amount. If you were eligible for benefits, or died without having been eligible, before 1982, your primary insurance amount computed under this method cannot be less than $122. This minimum benefit provision has been repealed effective with January 1982 for most workers and their families where the worker initially becomes eligible for benefits in that or a later month, or dies in January 1982 or a later month without having been eligible before January 1982. For members of a religious order who are required to take a vow of poverty, as explained in 20 CFR 404.1024, and which religious order elected Social Security coverage before December 29, 1981, the repeal is effective with January 1992 based on first eligibility or death in that month or later.

[47 FR 30734, July 15, 1982, as amended at 48 FR 46142, Oct. 11, 1983; 51 FR 4482, Feb. 5, 1986; 52 FR 47916, Dec. 17, 1987]

§404.213   Computation where you are eligible for a pension based on your noncovered employment.

(a) When applicable. Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, we will modify the formula prescribed in §404.212 and in appendix II of this subpart in the following situations:

(1) You become eligible for old-age insurance benefits after 1985; or

(2) You become eligible for disability insurance benefits after 1985; and

(3) For the same months after 1985 that you are entitled to old-age or disability benefits, you are also entitled to a monthly pension(s) for which you first became eligible after 1985 based in whole or part on your earnings in employment which was not covered under Social Security. We consider you to first become eligible for a monthly pension in the first month for which you met all requirements for the pension except that you were working or had not yet applied. In determining whether you are eligible for a pension before 1986, we consider all applicable service used by the pension-paying agency. (Noncovered employment includes employment outside the United States which is not covered under the United States Social Security system. Pensions from noncovered employment outside the United States include both pensions from social insurance systems that base benefits on earnings but not on residence or citizenship, and those from private employers. However, for benefits payable for months prior to January 1995, we will not modify the computation of a totalization benefit (see §§404.1908 and 404.1918) as a result of your entitlement to another pension based on employment covered by a totalization agreement. Beginning January 1995, we will not modify the computation of a totalization benefit in any case (see §404.213(e)(8)).

(b) Amount of your monthly pension that we use. For purposes of computing your primary insurance amount, we consider the amount of your monthly pension(s) (or the amount prorated on a monthly basis) which is attributable to your noncovered work after 1956 that you are entitled to for the first month in which you are concurrently entitled to Social Security benefits. For applications filed before December 1988, we will use the month of earliest concurrent eligibility. In determining the amount of your monthly pension we will use, we will consider the following:

(1) If your pension is not paid on a monthly basis or is paid in a lump-sum, we will allocate it proportionately as if it were paid monthly. We will allocate this the same way we allocate lump-sum payments for a spouse or surviving spouse whose benefits are reduced because of entitlement to a Government pension. (See §404.408a.)

(2) If your monthly pension is reduced to provide a survivor's benefit, we will use the unreduced amount.

(3) If the monthly pension amount which we will use in computing your primary insurance amount is not a multiple of $0.10, we will round it to the next lower multiple of $0.10.

(c) How we compute your primary insurance amount. When you become entitled to old-age or disability insurance benefits and to a monthly pension, we will compute your primary insurance amount under the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method (§404.212) as modified by paragraph (c) (1) and (2) of this section. Where applicable, we will also consider the 1977 simplified old-start method (§404.241) as modified by §404.243 and a special minimum primary insurance amount as explained in §§404.260 and 404.261. We will use the highest result from these three methods as your primary insurance amount. We compute under the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method, and use the higher primary insurance amount resulting from the application of paragraphs (c) (1) and (2) of this section, as follows:

(1) The formula in appendix II, except that instead of the first percentage figure (i.e., 90 percent), we use—

(i) 80 percent if you initially become eligible for old-age or disability insurance benefits in 1986;

(ii) 70 percent for initial eligibility in 1987;

(iii) 60 percent for initial eligibility in 1988;

(iv) 50 percent for initial eligibility in 1989;

(v) 40 percent for initial eligibility in 1990 and later years, or

(2) The formula in appendix II minus one-half the portion of your monthly pension which is due to noncovered work after 1956 and for which you were entitled in the first month you were entitled to both Social Security benefits and the monthly pension. If the monthly pension amount is not a multiple of $0.10, we will round to the next lower multiple of $0.10. To determine the portion of your pension which is due to noncovered work after 1956, we consider the total number of years of work used to compute your pension and the percentage of those years which are after 1956, and in which your employment was not covered. We take that percentage of your total pension as the amount which is due to your noncovered work after 1956.

(d) Alternate computation. (1) If you have more than 20 but less than 30 years of coverage as defined in the column headed “Alternate Computation Under §404.213(d)” in appendix IV of this subpart, we will compute your primary insurance amount using the applicable percentage given below instead of the first percentage in appendix II of this subpart if the applicable percentage below is larger than the percentage specified in paragraph (c) of this section:

(i) For benefits payable for months before January 1989—

Years of coveragePercent
2980
2870
2760
2650

(ii) For benefits payable for months after December 1988—

Years of coveragePercent
2985
2880
2775
2670
2565
2460
2355
2250
2145

(2) If you later earn additional year(s) of coverage, we will recompute your primary insurance amount, effective with January of the following year.

(e) Exceptions. The computations in paragraph (c) of this section do not apply in the following situations:

(1) Payments made under the Railroad Retirement Act are not considered to be a pension from noncovered employment for the purposes of this section. See subpart O of this part for a discussion of railroad retirement benefits.

(2) You were entitled before 1986 to disability insurance benefits in any of the 12 months before you reach age 62 or again become disabled. (See §404.251 for the appropriate computation.)

(3) You were a Federal employee performing service on January 1, 1984 to which Social Security coverage was extended on that date solely by reason of the amendments made by section 101 of the Social Security Amendments of 1983.

(4) You were an employee of a nonprofit organization who was exempt from Social Security coverage on December 31, 1983 unless you were previously covered under a waiver certificate which was terminated prior to that date.

(5) You have 30 years of coverage as defined in the column headed “Alternate Computation Under §404.213(d)” in appendix IV of this subpart.

(6) Your survivors are entitled to benefits on your record of earnings. (After your death, we will recompute the primary insurance amount to nullify the effect of any monthly pension, based in whole or in part on noncovered employment, to which you had been entitled.)

(7) For benefits payable for months after December 1994, payments by the social security system of a foreign country which are based on a totalization agreement between the United States and that country are not considered to be a pension from noncovered employment for purposes of this section. See subpart T of this part for a discussion of totalization agreements.

(8) For benefits payable for months after December 1994, the computations in paragraph (c) do not apply in the case of an individual whose entitlement to U.S. social security benefits results from a totalization agreement between the United States and a foreign country.

(9) For benefits payable for months after December 1994, you are eligible after 1985 for monthly periodic benefits based wholly on service as a member of a uniformed service, including inactive duty training.

(f) Entitlement to a totalization benefit and a pension based on noncovered employment. If, before January 1995, you are entitled to a totalization benefit and to a pension based on noncovered employment that is not covered by a totalization agreement, we count your coverage from a foreign country with which the United States (U.S.) has a totalization agreement and your U.S. coverage to determine if you meet the requirements for the modified computation in paragraph (d) of this section or the exception in paragraph (e)(5) of this section.

(1) Where the amount of your totalization benefit will be determined using a computation method that does not consider foreign earnings (see §404.1918), we will find your total years of coverage by adding your—

(i) Years of coverage from the agreement country (quarters of coverage credited under §404.1908 divided by four) and

(ii) Years of U.S. coverage as defined for the purpose of computing the special minimum primary insurance amount under §404.261.

(2) Where the amount of your totalization benefit will be determined using a computation method that does consider foreign earnings, we will credit your foreign earnings to your U.S. earnings record and then find your total years of coverage using the method described in §404.261.

[52 FR 47916, Dec. 17, 1987, as amended at 55 FR 21382, May 24, 1990; 57 FR 22429, May 28, 1992; 60 FR 17444, Apr. 6, 1995; 60 FR 56513, Nov. 9, 1995]

Average-Monthly-Wage Method of Computing Primary Insurance Amounts

§404.220   Average-monthly-wage method.

(a) Who is eligible for this method. You must before 1979, reach age 62, become disabled or die to be eligible for us to compute your primary insurance amount under the average-monthly-wage method. Also, as explained in §404.230, if you reach age 62 after 1978 but before 1984, you are eligible to have your primary insurance amount computed under a modified average-monthly-wage method if it is to your advantage. Being eligible for either the average-monthly-wage method or the modified average-monthly-wage method does not preclude your eligibility under the old-start method described in §§404.240 through 404.242.

(b) Steps in computing your primary insurance amount under the average-monthly-wage method. We follow these three major steps in computing your primary insurance amount under the average-monthly-wage method:

(1) First, we find your average monthly wage, as described in §404.221;

(2) Second, we look at the benefit table in appendix III; and

(3) Then we find your primary insurance amount in the benefit table, as described in §404.222.

(4) Finally, we apply any automatic cost-of-living or ad hoc increases that became effective in or after the year you reached age 62, or became disabled, or died before age 62, as explained in §§404.270 through 404.277.

§404.221   Computing your average monthly wage.

(a) General. Under the average-monthly-wage method, your social security earnings are averaged over the length of time you can reasonably have been expected to have worked under social security after 1950 (or after you reached age 21, if later).

(b) Which of your earnings may be used in computing your average monthly wage. (1) In computing your average monthly wage, we consider all the wages, compensation, self-employment income, and deemed military wage credits that are creditable to you for social security purposes. (The maximum amounts creditable are explained in §§404.1047 and 404.1096 of this part.)

(2) We use your earnings in your computation base years in computing your average monthly wage. All years after 1950 up to (but not including) the year you become entitled to old-age or disability insurance benefits, or through the year you die if you had not been entitled to old-age or disability benefits, are computation base years for you. Years after the year you die may not be used as computation base years even if you have earnings credited to you in them. However, years beginning with the year you become entitled to benefits may be used for benefits beginning with the following year if using them would give you a higher primary insurance amount. Years wholly within a period of disability are not computation base years unless your primary insurance amount would be higher if they were. In such situations, we count all the years during the period of disability, even if you had no earnings in some of them.

(c) Number of years to be considered in computing your average monthly wage. To find the number of years to be used in computing your average monthly wage—

(1) We count the years beginning with 1951 or (if later) the year you reached age 22 and ending with the year before you reached age 62, or became disabled, or died before age 62. Any part of a year—or years—in which you were disabled, as defined in §404.1505, is not counted unless doing so would give you a higher average monthly wage. In that case, we count all the years during the period of disability, even if you had no earnings in some of those years. These are your elapsed years. (If you are a male and you reached age 62 before 1975, see paragraph (c)(2) of this section for the rules on finding your elapsed years.)

(2) If you are a male and you reached age 62 in—

(i) 1972 or earlier, we count the years beginning with 1951 and ending with the year before you reached age 65, or became disabled or died before age 65 to find your elapsed years;

(ii) 1973, we count the years beginning with 1951 and ending with the year before you reached age 64, or became disabled or died before age 64 to find your elapsed years; or

(iii) 1974, we count the years beginning with 1951 and ending with the year before you reached age 63, became disabled, or died before age 63 to find your elapsed years.

(3) Then we subtract 5 from the number of your elapsed years. This is the number of your benefit computation years; we use the same number of your computation base years in computing your average monthly wage. For benefit computation years, we use the years with the highest amounts of earnings, but they may include years of no earnings. You cannot have fewer than 2 benefit computation years.

(d) Your average monthly wage. After we find your benefit computation years, we compute your average monthly wage by—

(1) Totalling your creditable earnings in your benefit computation years;

(2) Dividing the total by the number of months in your benefit computation years; and

(3) Rounding the quotient to the next lower whole dollar if not already a multiple of $1.

Example: Mr. B reaches age 62 and becomes entitled to old-age insurance benefits in August 1978. He had no social security earnings before 1951 and his year-by-year social security earnings after 1950 are as follows:
YearEarnings
1951$2,700
19522,700
19533,400
19543,100
19554,000
19564,100
19574,000
19584,200
19594,800
19604,800
19614,800
19624,800
19634,800
19641,500
19650   
19660   
19670   
19683,100
19695,200
19707,100
19717,800
19728,600
19738,900
19749,700
197510,100
197610,800
197711,900
We first find Mr. B's elapsed years, which are the 27 years 1951-1977. We subtract 5 from his 27 elapsed years to find that we must use 22 benefit computation years in computing his average monthly wage. His computation base years are 1951-1977, which are the years after 1950 and prior to the year he became entitled. This means that we will use his 22 computation base years with the highest earnings to compute his average monthly wage. Thus, we exclude the years 1964-1967 and 1951.

We total his earnings in his benefit computation years and get $132,700. We then divide that amount by the 264 months in his 22 benefit computation years and find his average monthly wage to be $502.65, which is rounded down to $502.

(e) “Deemed” average monthly wage for certain deceased veterans of World War II. Certain deceased veterans of World War II are “deemed” to have an average monthly wage of $160 (see §§404.1340 through 404.1343 of this part) unless their actual average monthly wage, as found in the method described in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section is higher.

§404.222   Use of benefit table in finding your primary insurance amount from your average monthly wage.

(a) General. We find your primary insurance amount under the average-monthly-wage method in the benefit table in appendix III.

(b) Finding your primary insurance amount from benefit table. We find your average monthly wage in column III of the table. Your primary insurance amount appears on the same line in column IV (column II if you are entitled to benefits for any of the 12 months preceding the effective month in column IV). As explained in §404.212(e), there is a minimum primary insurance amount of $122 payable for persons who became eligible or died after 1978 and before January 1982. There is also an alternative minimum of $121.80 (before the application of cost-of-living increases) for members of this group whose benefits were computed from the benefit table in effect in December 1978 on the basis of either the old-start computation method in §§404.240 through 404.242 or the guaranteed alternative computation method explained in §§404.230 through 404.233. However, as can be seen from the extended table in appendix III, the lowest primary insurance amount under this method is now $1.70 for individuals for whom the minimum benefit has been repealed.

Example: In the example in §404.221(d), we computed Mr. B's average monthly wage to be $502. We refer to the December 1978 benefit table in appendix III. Then we find his average monthly wage in column III of the table. Reading across, his primary insurance amount is on the same line in column IV and is $390.50. A 9.9 percent automatic cost-of-living benefit increase was effective for June 1979, increasing Mr. B's primary insurance amount to $429.20, as explained in §§404.270 through 404.277. Then, we increase the $429.20 by the 14.3 percent June 1980 cost-of-living benefit increase and get $490.60, and by the 11.2 percent June 1981 increase to get $545.60.

[47 FR 30734, July 15, 1982, as amended at 48 FR 46142, Oct. 11, 1983]

Guaranteed Alternative for People Reaching Age 62 After 1978 but Before 1984

§404.230   Guaranteed alternative.

(a) General. If you reach age 62 after 1978 but before 1984, we compute your primary insurance amount under a modified average-monthly-wage method as a guaranteed alternative to your primary insurance amount computed under the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method. We also compute your primary insurance amount under the old-start method (§§404.240 through 404.242) and under the special rules for a person who had a period of disability (§§404.250 through 404.252), if you are eligible. In §§404.231 through 404.233, we explain the average-monthly-wage method as the alternative to the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method.

(b) Restrictions. (1) To qualify for this guaranteed-alternative computation, you must have some creditable earnings before 1979.

(2) You or your survivors do not qualify for a guaranteed-alternative computation if you were eligible (you attained age 62, became disabled, or died before age 62) for social security benefits based on your own earnings at any time before 1979 unless—

(i) Those benefits were disability insurance benefits which were terminated because you recovered from your disability or you engaged in substantial gainful activity; and

(ii) You spent at least 12 months without being eligible for disability benefits again.

(3) This guaranteed alternative method applies only to old-age insurance benefits and to survivor benefits where the deceased worker reached the month of his or her 62nd birthday after 1978 but before 1984 and died after reaching age 62.

§404.231   Steps in computing your primary insurance amount under the guaranteed alternative—general.

If you reach age 62 after 1978 but before 1984, we follow three major steps in finding your guaranteed alternative:

(a) First, we compute your average monthly wage, as described in §404.232;

(b) Second, we find the primary insurance amount that corresponds to your average monthly wage in the benefit table in appendix III.

(c) Then we apply any automatic cost-of-living or ad hoc increases in primary insurance amounts that have become effective in or after the year you reached age 62.

§404.232   Computing your average monthly wage under the guaranteed alternative.

(a) General. With the exception described in paragraph (b) of this section, we follow the rules in §404.221 to compute your average monthly wage.

(b) Exception. We do not use any year after the year you reach age 61 as a computation base year in computing your average monthly wage for purposes of the guaranteed alternative.

§404.233   Adjustment of your guaranteed alternative when you become entitled after age 62.

(a) If you do not become entitled to benefits at the time you reach age 62, we adjust the guaranteed alternative computed for you under §404.232 as described in paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) To the primary insurance amount computed under the guaranteed alternative, we apply any automatic cost-of-living or ad hoc increases in primary insurance amounts that go into effect in the year you reach age 62 and in years up through the year you become entitled to benefits. (See appendix VI for a list of the percentage increases in primary insurance amounts since December 1978.)

Example: Mr. C reaches age 62 in January 1981 and becomes entitled to old-age insurance benefits in April 1981. He had no social security earnings before 1951 and his year-by-year social security earnings after 1950 are as follows:
YearEarnings
1951$3,600
19523,600
19533,600
19543,600
19554,200
19564,200
19574,200
19584,200
19594,800
19604,800
19614,800
19624,800
19634,800
19644,800
19654,800
19666,600
19676,600
19687,800
19697,800
19707,800
19717,800
19729,000
197310,800
197413,200
197514,100
197615,300
197716,500
197817,700
197922,900
198025,900
198129,700
Mr. C's elapsed years are the 30 years 1951 through 1980. We subtract 5 from his 30 elapsed years to find that we must use 25 benefit computation years in computing his average monthly wage. His computation base years are 1951 through 1980 which are years after 1950 up to the year he reached age 62. We will use his 25 computation base years with the highest earnings to compute his average monthly wage. Thus, we exclude the years 1951-1955. The year 1981 is not a base year for this computation.

We total his earnings in his benefit computation years and get $236,000. We then divide by the 300 months in his 25 benefit computation years, and find his average monthly wage to be $786.66 which is rounded down to $786.

The primary insurance amount in the benefit table in appendix III that corresponds to Mr. C's average monthly wage is $521.70. The 9.9 percent and 14.3 percent cost of living increase for 1979 and 1980, respectively, are not applicable because Mr. C reached age 62 in 1981.

The average indexed monthly earnings method described in §§404.210 through 404.212 considers all of the earnings after 1950, including 1981 earnings which, in Mr. C's case cannot be used in the guaranteed alternative method. Mr. C's primary insurance amount under the average indexed earnings method is $548.40. Therefore, his benefit is based upon the $548.40 primary insurance amount. As in the guaranteed alternative method, Mr. C is not entitled to the cost of living increases for years before the year he reaches age 62.

Old-Start Method of Computing Primary Insurance Amounts

§404.240   Old-start method—general.

If you had all or substantially all your social security earnings before 1951, your primary insurance amount computed under the “1977 simplified old-start” method may be higher than any other primary insurance amount computed for you under any other method for which you are eligible. As explained in §404.242, if you reach age 62 after 1978, your primary insurance amount computed under the old-start method is used, for purposes of the guaranteed alternative described in §404.230, if the old-start primary insurance amount is higher than the one found under the average-monthly-wage method. We may use a modified computation, as explained in §404.243, if you are entitled to a pension based on your employment which was not covered by Social Security.

[47 FR 30734, July 15, 1982, as amended at 52 FR 47917, Dec. 17, 1987]

§404.241   1977 simplified old-start method.

(a) Who is qualified. To qualify for the old-start computation, you must meet the conditions in paragraphs (a) (1), (2), or (3) of this section:

(1) You must—

(i) Have one “quarter of coverage” (see §§404.101 and 404.110 of this part) before 1951;

(ii) Have attained age 21 after 1936 and before 1950, or attained age 22 after 1950 and earned fewer than 6 quarters of coverage after 1950;

(iii) Have not had a period of disability which began before 1951, unless it can be disregarded, as explained in §404.320 of this part; and,

(iv) Have attained age 62, become disabled, or died, after 1977.

(2)(i) You or your survivor becomes entitled to benefits for June 1992 or later;

(ii) You do not meet the conditions in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, and,

(iii) No person is entitled to benefits on your earnings record in the month before the month you or your survivor becomes entitled to benefits.

(3) A recomputation is first effective for June 1992 or later based on your earnings for 1992 or later.

(b) Steps in old-start computation. (1) First, we allocate your earnings during the period 1937-1950 as described in paragraph (c) of this section.

(2) Next, we compute your average monthly wage, as described in paragraph (d) of this section.

(3) Next, we apply the old-start formula to your average monthly wage, as described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section.

(4) Next, we apply certain increments to the amount computed in step (3), as described in paragraph (e)(2) of this section.

(5) Next, we find your primary insurance amount in the benefit table in appendix III, as described in paragraph (f)(1) of this section.

(6) Then, we apply automatic cost-of-living or ad hoc increases in primary insurance amounts to the primary insurance amount found in step (5), as described in paragraph (f)(2) of this section.

(c) Finding your computation base years under the old-start method. (1) Instead of using your actual year-by-year earnings before 1951, we find your computation base years for 1937-1950 (and the amount of earnings for each of them) by allocating your total 1937-1950 earnings among the years before 1951 under the following procedure:

(i) If you reached age 21 before 1950 and your total 1937-1950 earnings are not more than $3,000 times the number of years after the year you reached age 20 and before 1951 (a maximum of 14 years), we allocate your earnings equally among those years, and those years are your computation base years before 1951.

(ii) If you reached age 21 before 1950 and your total 1937-1950 earnings are more than $3,000 times the number of years after the year you reached age 20 and before 1951, we allocate your earnings at the rate of $3,000 per year for each year after you reached age 20 and before 1951 up to a maximum of 14 years. We credit any remainder in reverse order to years before age 21 in $3,000 increments and any amount left over of less than $3,000 to the year before the earliest year to which we credited $3,000. No more than $42,000 may be credited in this way and to no more than 14 years. Those years are your computation base years before 1951.

(iii) If you reached age 21 in 1950 or later and your total pre-1951 earnings are $3,000 or less, we credit the total to the year you reached age 20 and that year is your pre-1951 computation base year.

(iv) If you reached age 21 in 1950 or later and your total pre-1951 earnings are more than $3,000, we credit $3,000 to the year you reached age 20 and credit the remainder to earlier years (or year) in blocks of $3,000 in reverse order. We credit any remainder of less than $3,000 to the year before the earliest year to which we had credited $3,000. No more than $42,000 may be credited in this way and to no more than 14 years. Those years are your computation base years before 1951.

(v) If you die before 1951, we allocate your 1937-1950 earnings under paragraphs (c)(1) (i) through (iv), except that in determining the number of years, we will use the year of death instead of 1951. If you die before you attain age 21, the number of years in the period is equal to 1.

(vi) For purposes of paragraphs (c)(1) (i) through (v), if you had a period of disability which began before 1951, we will exclude the years wholly within a period of disability in determining the number of years.

(2)(i) All years after 1950 up to (but not including) the year you become entitled to old-age insurance or disability insurance benefits (or through the year you die if you had not become entitled to old-age or disability benefits) are also computation base years for you.

(ii) Years wholly within a period of disability are not computation base years unless your primary insurance amount would be higher if they were. In such situations, we count all the years during the period of disability, even if you had no earnings in some of them.

Example: Ms. D reaches age 62 in June 1979. Her total 1937-1950 social security earnings are $40,000 and she had social security earnings of $7,100 in 1976 and $6,300 in 1977. Since she reaches age 62 after 1978, we first compute her primary insurance amount under the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method (§§404.210 through 404.212). As of June 1981, it is $170.50, which is the minimum primary insurance amount applicable, because her average indexed monthly earnings of $50 would yield only $56.50 under the benefit formula. Ms. D reached age 62 after 1978 but before 1984 and her guaranteed alternative under the average-monthly-wage method as of June 1981 is $170.30, which is the minimum primary insurance amount based on average monthly wages of $48. (These amounts include the 9.9, the 14.3, and the 11.2 percent cost-of-living increases effective June 1979, June 1980, and June 1981 respectively.)

Ms. D is also eligible for the old-start method. We first allocate $3,000 of her 1937-1950 earnings to each of her 13 computation base years starting with the year she reached age 21 (1938) and ending with 1950. The remaining $1,000 is credited to the year she reached age 20. Ms. D, then, has 42 computation base years (14 before 1951 and 28 after 1950).

(d) Computing your average monthly wage under the old-start method. (1) First, we count your elapsed years, which are the years beginning with 1937 (or the year you reach 22, if later) and ending with the year before you reach age 62, or become disabled or die before age 62. (See §404.211(e)(1) for the rule on how we treat years wholly or partially within a period of disability.)

(2) Next, we subtract 5 from the number of your elapsed years, and this is the number of computation years we must use. We then choose this number of your computation base years in which you had the highest earnings. These years are your benefit computation years. You must have at least 2 benefit computation years.

(3) Then we compute your average monthly wage by dividing your total creditable earnings in your benefit computation years by the number of months in these years and rounding the quotient to the next lower dollar if not already a multiple of $1.

(e) Old-start computation formula. We use the following formula to compute your primary insurance benefit, which we will convert to your primary insurance amount:

(1) We take 40 percent of the first $50 of your average monthly wage, plus 10 percent of the next $200 of your average monthly wage up to a total average monthly wage of $250. (We do not use more than $250 of your average monthly wage.)

(2) We increase the amount found in paragraph (e)(1) of this section by 1 percent for each $1,650 in your pre-1951 earnings, disregarding any remainder less than $1,650. We always increase the amount by at least 4 of these 1 percent increments but may not increase it by more than 14 of them.

(f) Finding your primary insurance amount under the old-start method. (1) In column I of the benefit table in appendix III we locate the amount (the primary insurance benefit) computed in paragraph (e) of this section and find the corresponding primary insurance amount on the same line in column IV of the table.

(2) We increase that amount by any automatic cost-of-living or ad hoc increases in primary insurance amounts effective since the beginning of the year in which you reached age 62, or became disabled or died before age 62. (See §§404.270 through 404.277.)

Example: From the example in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, we see that Ms. D's elapsed years total 40 (number of years at ages 22 to 61, both inclusive). Her benefit computation years, therefore, must total 35. Since she has only 16 years of actual earnings, we must include 19 years of zero earnings in this old-start computation to reach the required 35 benefit computation years.

We next divide her total social security earnings ($53,400) by the 420 months in her benefit computation years and find her average monthly wage to be $127.

We apply the old-start computation formula to Ms. D's average monthly wage as follows: 40 percent of the first $50 of her average monthly wage ($20.00), plus 10 percent of the remaining $77 of her average monthly wage ($7.70), for a total of $27.70.

We then apply 14 1-percent increments to that amount, increasing it by $3.88 to $31.58. We find $31.58 in column I of the December 1978 benefit table in appendix III and find her primary insurance amount of $195.90 on the same line in column IV. We apply the 9.9 percent automatic cost-of-living increase effective for June 1979 to $195.90 and get an old-start primary insurance amount of $215.30 which we then increase to $246.10 to reflect the 14.3 percent cost-of-living increase effective for June 1980, and to $273.70 to reflect the June 1981 increase. Since that primary insurance amount is higher than the $153.10 primary insurance amount computed under the average-monthly-wage method and the $153.30 primary insurance amount computed under the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method, we base Ms. D's benefits (and those of her family) on $215.30 (plus later cost-of-living increases), which is the highest primary insurance amount.

[47 FR 30734, July 15, 1982, as amended at 55 FR 21382, May 24, 1990; 57 FR 23157, June 2, 1992]

§404.242   Use of old-start primary insurance amount as guaranteed alternative.

If your primary insurance amount as computed under the old-start method is higher than your primary insurance amount computed under the average-monthly-wage method, your old-start primary insurance amount will serve as the guaranteed alternative to your primary insurance amount computed under the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method, as described in §404.230. However, earnings that you have in or after the year you reach age 62, or become disabled or die before age 62 are not used in an old-start computation in this situation.

§404.243   Computation where you are eligible for a pension based on noncovered employment.

The provisions of §404.213 are applicable to computations under the old-start method, except for paragraphs (c) (1) and (2) and (d) of that section. Your primary insurance amount will be whichever of the following two amounts is larger:

(a) One-half the primary insurance amount computed according to §404.241 (before application of the cost of living amount); or

(b) The primary insurance amount computed according to §404.241 (before application of the cost of living amount), minus one-half the portion of your monthly pension which is due to noncovered work after 1956 and for which you were eligible in the first month you became eligible for Social Security benefits. If the result is not a multiple of $0.10, we will round to the next lower multiple of $0.10. (See §404.213 (b)(3) if you are not eligible for a monthly pension in the first month you are entitled to Social Security benefits.) To determine the portion of your pension which is due to noncovered work after 1956, we consider the total number of years of work used to compute your pension and the percentage of those years which are after 1956 and in which your employment was not covered. We take that percentage of your total pension as the amount which is due to your noncovered work after 1956.

[52 FR 47918, Dec. 17, 1987]

Special Computation Rules for People Who Had a Period of Disability

§404.250   Special computation rules for people who had a period of disability.

If you were disabled at some time in your life, received disability insurance benefits, and those benefits were terminated because you recovered from your disability or because you engaged in substantial gainful activity, special rules apply in computing your primary insurance amount when you become eligible after 1978 for old-age insurance benefits or if you become re-entitled to disability insurance benefits or die. (For purposes of §§404.250 through 404.252, we use the term second entitlement to refer to this situation.) There are two sets of rules:

(a) Second entitlement within 12 months. If 12 months or fewer pass between the last month for which you received a disability insurance benefit and your second entitlement, see the rules in §404.251; and

(b) Second entitlement after more than 12 months. If more than 12 months pass between the last month for which you received a disability insurance benefit and your second entitlement, see the rules in §404.252.

§404.251   Subsequent entitlement to benefits less than 12 months after entitlement to disability benefits ended.

(a) Disability before 1979; second entitlement after 1978. In this situation, we compute your second-entitlement primary insurance amount by selecting the highest of the following:

(1) The primary insurance amount to which you were entitled when you last received a benefit, increased by any automatic cost-of-living or ad hoc increases in primary insurance amounts that took effect since then;

(2) The primary insurance amount resulting from a recomputation of your primary insurance amount, if one is possible; or

(3) The primary insurance amount computed for you as of the time of your second entitlement under any method for which you are qualified at that time, including the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method if the previous period of disability is disregarded.

(b) Disability and second entitlement after 1978. In this situation, we compute your second-entitlement primary insurance amount by selecting the highest of the following:

(1) The primary insurance amount to which you were entitled when you last received a benefit, increased by any automatic cost-of-living or ad hoc increases in primary insurance amount that took effect since then;

(2) The primary insurance amount resulting from a recomputation of your primary insurance amount, if one is possible (this recomputation may be under the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method only); or

(3) The primary insurance amount computed for you as of the time of your second entitlement under any method (including an old-start method) for which you are qualifed at that time.

(c) Disability before 1986; second entitlement after 1985. When applying the rule in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, we must consider your receipt of a monthly pension based on noncovered employment. (See §404.213). However, we will disregard your monthly pension if you were previously entitled to disability benefits before 1986 and in any of the 12 months before your second entitlement.

[47 FR 30734, July 15, 1982, as amended at 52 FR 47918, Dec. 17, 1987]

§404.252   Subsequent entitlement to benefits 12 months or more after entitlement to disability benefits ended.

In this situation, we compute your second-entitlement primary insurance amount by selecting the higher of the following:

(a) New primary insurance amount. The primary insurance amount computed as of the time of your second entitlement under any of the computation methods for which you qualify at the time of your second entitlement; or

(b) Previous primary insurance amount. The primary insurance amount to which you were entitled in the last month for which you were entitled to a disability insurance benefit.

Special Minimum Primary Insurance Amounts

§404.260   Special minimum primary insurance amounts.

Regardless of the method we use to compute your primary insurance amount, if the special minimum primary insurance amount described in §404.261 is higher, then your benefits (and those of your dependents or survivors) will be based on the special minimum primary insurance amount. Special minimum primary insurance amounts are not based on a worker's average earnings, as are primary insurance amounts computed under other methods. Rather, the special minimum primary insurance amount is designed to provide higher benefits to people who worked for long periods in low-paid jobs covered by social security.

§404.261   Computing your special minimum primary insurance amount.

(a) Years of coverage. (1) The first step in computing your special minimum primary insurance amount is to find the number of your years of coverage, which is the sum of—

(i) The quotient found by dividing your total creditable social security earnings during the period 1937-1950 by $900, disregarding any fractional remainder; plus

(ii) The number of your computation base years after 1950 in which your social security earnings were at least the amounts shown in appendix IV. (Computation base years mean the same here as in other computation methods discussed in this subpart.)

(2) You must have at least 11 years of coverage to qualify for a special minimum primary insurance amount computation. However, special minimum primary insurance amounts based on little more than 10 years of coverage are usually lower than the regular minimum benefit that was in effect before 1982 (see §§404.212(e) and 404.222(b) of this part). In any situation where your primary insurance amount computed under another method is higher, we use that higher amount.

(b) Computing your special minimum primary insurance amount. (1) First, we subtract 10 from your years of coverage and multiply the remainder (at least 1 and no more than 20) by $11.50;

(2) Then we increase the amount found in paragraph (b)(1) of this section by any automatic cost-of-living or ad hoc increases that have become effective since December 1978 to find your special minimum primary insurance amount. See appendix V for the applicable table, which includes the 9.9 percent cost-of-living increase that became effective June 1979, the 14.3 percent increase that became effective June 1980, and the 11.2 percent increase that became effective June 1981.

Example: Ms. F, who attained age 62 in January 1979, had $10,000 in total social security earnings before 1951 and her post-1950 earnings are as follows:
YearEarnings
1951$1,100
1952950
19530
19541,000
19551,100
19561,200
19570
19581,300
19590
19601,300
19610
19621,400
19631,300
19640
1965500
1966700
1967650
1968900
19691,950
19702,100
19712,000
19721,500
19732,700
19742,100
19752,600
19763,850
19774,150
19780
Her primary insurance amount under the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method as of June 1981 is $240.40 (based on average indexed monthly earnings of $229). Her guaranteed-alternative primary insurance amount under the average-monthly-wage method as of June 1981 is $255.80 (based on average monthly wages of $131).

However, Ms. F has enough earnings before 1951 to allow her 11 years of coverage before 1951 ($10,000÷$900=11, plus a remainder, which we drop). She has sufficient earnings in 1951-52, 1954-56, 1958, 1960, 1962-63, 1969-71, 1973, and 1976-77 to have a year of coverage for each of those years. She thus has 15 years of coverage after 1950 and a total of 26 years of coverage. We subtract 10 from her years of coverage, multiply the remainder (16) by $11.50 and get $184.00. We then apply the June 1979, June 1980, and June 1981 automatic cost-of-living increases (9.9 percent, 14.3 percent, and 11.2 percent, respectively) to that amount to find her special minimum primary insurance amount of $202.30 effective June 1979, $231.30 effective June 1980, and $257.30 effective June 1981. (See appendices V and VI.) Since her special minimum primary insurance amount is higher than the primary insurance amounts computed for her under the other methods described in this subpart for which she is eligible, her benefits (and those of her family) are based on the special minimum primary insurance amount.

[47 FR 30734, July 15, 1982, as amended at 48 FR 46143, Oct. 11, 1983]

Cost-of-Living Increases

§404.270   Cost-of-living increases.

Your primary insurance amount may be automatically increased each December so it keeps up with rises in the cost of living. These automatic increases also apply to other benefit amounts, as described in §404.271.

[47 FR 30734, July 15, 1982, as amended at 51 FR 12603, Apr. 14, 1986]

§404.271   When automatic cost-of-living increases apply.

Besides increases in the primary insurance amounts of current beneficiaries, automatic cost-of-living increases also apply to—

(a) The benefits of certain uninsured people age 72 and older (see §404.380);

(b) The special minimum primary insurance amounts (described in §§404.260 through 404.261) of current and future beneficiaries;

(c) The primary insurance amounts of people who after 1978 become eligible for benefits or die before becoming eligible (beginning with December of the year they become eligible or die), although certain limitations are placed on the automatic adjustment of the frozen minimum primary insurance amount (as described in §404.277); and

(d) The maximum family benefit amounts in column V of the benefit table in appendix III.

[47 FR 30734, July 15, 1982, as amended at 51 FR 12603, Apr. 14, 1986]

§404.272   Indexes we use to measure the rise in the cost-of-living.

(a) The bases. To measure increases in the cost-of-living for annual automatic increase purposes, we use either:

(1) The revised Consumer Price Index (CPI) for urban wage earners and clerical workers as published by the Department of Labor, or

(2) The average wage index (AWI), which is the average of the annual total wages that we use to index (i.e., update) a worker's past earnings when we compute his or her primary insurance amount (§404.211(c)).

(b) Effect of the OASDI fund ratio. Which of these indexes we use to measure increases in the cost-of-living depends on the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) fund ratio.

(c) OASDI fund ratio for years after 1984. For purposes of cost-of-living increases, the OASDI fund ratio is the ratio of the combined assets in the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund (see section 201 of the Social Security Act) on January 1 of a given year, to the estimated expenditures from the Funds in the same year. The January 1 balance consists of the assets (i.e., government bonds and cash) in the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, plus Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) and Self-Employment Contributions Act (SECA) taxes transferred to these trust funds on January 1 of the given year, minus the outstanding amounts (principal and interest) owed to the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund as a result of interfund loans. Estimated expenditures are amounts we expect to pay from the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and the Disability Insurance Trust Funds during the year, including the net amount that we pay into the Railroad Retirement Account, but excluding principal repayments and interest payments to the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund and transfer payments between the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and the Disability Insurance Trust Funds. The ratio as calculated under this rule is rounded to the nearest 0.1 percent.

(d) Which index we use. We use the CPI if the OASDI fund ratio is 15.0 percent or more for any year from 1984 through 1988, and if the ratio is 20.0 percent or more for any year after 1988. We use either the CPI or the AWI, depending on which has the lower percentage increase in the applicable measuring period (see §404.274), if the OASDI fund ratio is less than 15.0 percent for any year from 1984 through 1988, and if the ratio is less than 20.0 percent for any year after 1988. For example, if the OASDI fund ratio for a year is 17.0 percent, the cost-of-living increase effective December of that year will be based on the CPI.

[51 FR 12603, Apr. 14, 1986]

§404.273   When are automatic cost-of-living increases effective?

We make automatic cost-of-living increases if the applicable index, either the CPI or the AWI, rises over a specified measuring period (see the rules on measuring periods in §404.274). If the cost-of-living increase is to be based on an increase in the CPI, the increase is effective in December of the year in which the measuring period ends. If the increase is to be based on an increase in the AWI, the increase is effective in December of the year after the year in which the measuring period ends.

[69 FR 19925, Apr. 15, 2004]

§404.274   What are the measuring periods we use to calculate cost-of-living increases?

(a) General. Depending on the OASDI fund ratio, we measure the rise in one index or in both indexes during the applicable measuring period (described in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section) to determine whether there will be an automatic cost-of-living increase and if so, its amount.

(b) Measuring period based on the CPI—(1) When the period begins. The measuring period we use for finding the amount of the CPI increase begins with the later of—

(i) Any calendar quarter in which an ad hoc benefit increase is effective; or

(ii) The third calendar quarter of any year in which the last automatic increase became effective.

(2) When the period ends. The measuring period ends with the third calendar quarter of the following year. If this measuring period ends in a year after the year in which an ad hoc increase was enacted or took effect, there can be no cost-of-living increase at that time. We will extend the measuring period to the third calendar quarter of the next year.

(c) Measuring period based on the AWI—(1) When the period begins. The measuring period we use for finding the amount of the AWI increase begins with the later of—

(i) The calendar year before the year in which an ad hoc benefit increase is effective; or

(ii) The calendar year before the year in which the last automatic increase became effective.

(2) When the period ends. The measuring period ends with the following year. If this measuring period ends in a year in which an ad hoc increase was enacted or took effect, there can be no cost-of-living increase at that time. We will extend the measuring period to the next calendar year.

[69 FR 19925, Apr. 15, 2004]

§404.275   How is an automatic cost-of-living increase calculated?

(a) Increase based on the CPI. We compute the average of the CPI for the quarters that begin and end the measuring period by adding the three monthly CPI figures, dividing the total by three, and rounding the result to the same number of decimal places as the published CPI figures. If the number of decimal places in the published CPI values differs between those used for the beginning and ending quarters, we use the number for the ending quarter. If the average for the ending quarter is higher than the average for the beginning quarter, we divide the average for the ending quarter by the average of the beginning quarter to determine the percentage increase in the CPI over the measuring period.

(b) Increase based on the AWI. If the AWI for the year that ends the measuring period is higher than the AWI for the year which begins the measuring period and all the other conditions for an AWI-based increase are met, we divide the higher AWI by the lower AWI to determine the percentage increase in the AWI.

(c) Rounding rules. We round the increase from the applicable paragraph (a) or (b) of this section to the nearest 0.1 percent by rounding 0.05 percent and above to the next higher 0.1 percent and otherwise rounding to the next lower 0.1 percent. For example, if the applicable index is the CPI and the increase in the CPI is 3.15 percent, we round the increase to 3.2 percent. We then apply this percentage increase to the amounts described in §404.271 and round the resulting dollar amounts to the next lower multiple of $0.10 (if not already a multiple of $0.10).

(d) Additional increase. See §404.278 for the additional increase that is possible.

[69 FR 19925, Apr. 15, 2004, as amended at 72 FR 2186, Jan. 18, 2007]

§404.276   Publication of notice of increase.

When we determine that an automatic cost-of-living increase is due, we publish in the Federal Register within 45 days of the end of the measuring period used in finding the amount of the increase—

(a) The fact that an increase is due;

(b) The amount of the increase;

(c) The increased special minimum primary insurance amounts; and

(d) The range of increased maximum family benefits that corresponds to the range of increased special minimum primary insurance amounts.

§404.277   When does the frozen minimum primary insurance amount increase because of cost-of-living adjustments?

(a) What is the frozen minimum primary insurance amount (PIA)? The frozen minimum is a minimum PIA for certain workers whose benefits are computed under the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method. Section 404.210(a) with §404.212(e) explains when the frozen minimum applies.

(b) When does the frozen minimum primary insurance amount (PIA) increase automatically? The frozen minimum PIA increases automatically in every year in which you or your dependents or survivors are entitled to benefits and a cost-of-living increase applies.

(c) When are automatic increases effective for old-age or disability benefits based on a frozen minimum primary insurance amount (PIA)? Automatic cost-of-living increases apply to your frozen minimum PIA beginning with the earliest of:

(1) December of the year you become entitled to benefits and receive at least a partial benefit;

(2) December of the year you reach full retirement age (as defined in §404.409) if you are entitled to benefits in or before the month you attain full retirement age, regardless of whether you receive at least a partial benefit; or

(3) December of the year you become entitled to benefits if that is after you attain full retirement age.

(d) When are automatic increases effective for survivor benefits based on a frozen minimum primary insurance amount (PIA)? (1) Automatic cost-of-living increases apply to the frozen minimum PIA used to determine survivor benefits in December of any year in which your child(ren), your surviving spouse caring for your child(ren), or your parent(s), are entitled to survivor benefits for at least one month.

(2) Automatic cost-of-living increases apply beginning with December of the earlier of:

(i) The year in which your surviving spouse or surviving divorced spouse (as defined in §§404.335 and 404.336) has attained full retirement age (as defined in §404.409) and receives at least a partial benefit, or

(ii) The year in which your surviving spouse or surviving disabled spouse becomes entitled to benefits and receives at least a partial benefit.

(3) Automatic cost-of-living increases are not applied to the frozen minimum PIA in any year in which no survivor of yours is entitled to benefits on your social security record.

[68 FR 4702, Jan. 30, 2003]

§404.278   Additional cost-of-living increase.

(a) General. In addition to the cost-of-living increase explained in §404.275 for a given year, we will further increase the amounts in §404.271 if—

(1) The OASDI fund ratio is more than 32.0 percent in the given year in which a cost-of-living increase is due; and

(2) In any prior year, the cost-of-living increase was based on the AWI as the lower of the CPI and AWI.

(b) Measuring period for the additional increase—(1) Beginning. To compute the additional increase, we begin with—

(i) In the case of certain uninsured beneficiaries age 72 and older (see §404.380), the first calendar year in which a cost-of-living adjustment was based on the AWI rather than the CPI;

(ii) For all other individuals and for maximum benefits payable to a family, the year in which the insured individual became eligible for old-age or disability benefits to which he or she is currently entitled, or died before becoming eligible.

(2) Ending. The end of the measuring period is the year before the first year in which a cost-of-living increase is due based on the CPI and in which the OASDI fund ratio is more than 32.0 percent.

(c) Compounded percentage benefit increase. To compute the additional cost-of-living increase, we must first compute the compounded percentage benefit increase (CPBI) for both the cost-of-living increases that were actually paid during the measuring period and for the increases that would have been paid if the CPI had been the basis for all the increases.

(d) Computing the CPBI. The computation of the CPBI is as follows—

(1) Obtain the sum of (i) 1.000 and (ii) the actual cost-of-living increase percentage (expressed as a decimal) for each year in the measuring period;

(2) Multiply the resulting amount for the first year by that for the second year, then multiply that product by the amount for the third year, and continue until the last amount has been multiplied by the product of the preceding amounts;

(3) Subtract 1 from the last product;

(4) Multiply the remaining product by 100. The result is what we call the actual CPBI.

(5) Substitute the cost-of-living increase percentage(s) that would have been used if the increase(s) had been based on the CPI (for some years, this will be the percentage that was used), and do the same computations as in paragraphs (d) (1) through (4) of this section. The result is what we call the assumed CPBI.

(e) Computing the additional cost-of-living increase. To compute the precentage increase, we—

(1) Subtract the actual CPBI from the assumed CPBI;

(2) Add 100 to the actual CPBI;

(3) Divide the answer from paragraph (e)(1) of this section by the answer from paragraph (e)(2) of this section, multiply the quotient by 100, and round to the nearest 0.1. The result is the additional increase percentage, which we apply to the appropriate amount described in §404.271 after that amount has been increased under §404.275 for a given year. If that increased amount is not a multiple of $0.10, we will decrease it to the next lower multiple of $0.10.

(f) Restrictions on paying an additional cost-of-living increase. We will pay the additional increase to the extent necessary to bring the benefits up to the level they would have been if they had been increased based on the CPI. However, we will pay the additional increase only to the extent payment will not cause the OASDI fund ratio to drop below 32.0 percent for the year after the year in which the increase is effective.

[51 FR 12604, Apr. 21, 1986, as amended at 69 FR 19925, Apr. 15, 2004]

Recomputing Your Primary Insurance Amount

§404.280   Recomputations.

At times after you or your survivors become entitled to benefits, we will recompute your primary insurance amount. Usually we will recompute only if doing so will increase your primary insurance amount. However, we will also recompute your primary insurance amount if you first became eligible for old-age or disability insurance benefits after 1985, and later become entitled to a pension based on your noncovered employment, as explained in §404.213. There is no limit on the number of times your primary insurance amount may be recomputed, and we do most recomputations automatically. In the following sections, we explain:

(a) Why a recomputation is made (§404.281),

(b) When a recomputation takes effect (§404.282),

(c) Methods of recomputing (§§404.283 and 404.284),

(d) Automatic recomputations (§404.285),

(e) Requesting a recomputation (§404.286),

(f) Waiving a recomputation (§404.287), and

(g) Recomputing when you are entitled to a pension based on noncovered employment (§404.288).

[52 FR 47918, Dec. 17, 1987]

§404.281   Why your primary insurance amount may be recomputed.

(a) Earnings not included in earlier computation or recomputation. The most common reason for recomputing your primary insurance amount is to include earnings of yours that were not used in the first computation or in an earlier recomputation, as described in paragraphs (c) through (e) of this section. These earnings will result in a revised average monthly wage or revised average indexed monthly earnings.

(b) New computation method enacted. If a new method of computing or recomputing primary insurance amounts is enacted into law and you are eligible to have your primary insurance amount recomputed under the new method, we will recompute it under the new method if doing so would increase your primary insurance amount.

(c) Earnings in the year you reach age 62 or become disabled. In the initial computation of your primary insurance amount, we do not use your earnings in the year you become entitled to old-age insurance benefits or become disabled. However, we can use those earnings (called lag earnings) in a recomputation of your primary insurance amount. We recompute and begin paying you the higher benefits in the year after the year you become entitled to old-age benefits or become disabled.

(d) Earnings not reported to us in time to use them in the computation of your primary insurance amount. Because of the way reports of earnings are required to be submitted to us for years after 1977, the earnings you have in the year before you become entitled to old-age insurance benefits, or become disabled or in the year you die might not be reported to us in time to use them in computing your primary insurance amount. We recompute your primary insurance amount based on the new earnings information and begin paying you (or your survivors) the higher benefits based on the additional earnings, beginning with the month you became entitled or died.

(e) Earnings after entitlement that are used in a recomputation. Earnings that you have after you become entitled to benefits will be used in a recomputation of your primary insurance amount.

(f) Entitlement to a monthly pension. We will recompute your primary insurance amount if in a month after you became entitled to old-age or disability insurance benefits, you become entitled to a pension based on noncovered employment, as explained in §404.213. Further, we will recompute your primary insurance amount after your death to disregard a monthly pension based on noncovered employment which affected your primary insurance amount.

[47 FR 30734, July 15, 1982, as amended at 52 FR 47918, Dec. 17, 1987]

§404.282   Effective date of recomputations.

Most recomputations are effective beginning with January of the calendar year after the year in which the additional earnings used in the recomputation were paid. However, a recomputation to include earnings in the year of death (whether or not paid before death) is effective for the month of death. Additionally if you first became eligible for old-age or disability insurance benefits after 1985 and you later also become entitled to a monthly pension based on noncovered employment, we will recompute your primary insurance amount under the rules in §404.213; this recomputed Social Security benefit amount is effective for the first month you are entitled to the pension. Finally, if your primary insurance amount was affected by your entitlement to a pension, we will recompute the amount to disregard the pension, effective with the month of your death.

[47 FR 30734, July 15, 1982, as amended at 52 FR 47918, Dec. 17, 1987]

§404.283   Recomputation under method other than that used to find your primary insurance amount.

In some cases, we may recompute your primary insurance amount under a computation method different from the method used in the computation (or earlier recomputation) of your primary insurance amount, if you are eligible for a computation or recomputation under the different method.

§404.284   Recomputations for people who reach age 62, or become disabled, or die before age 62 after 1978.

(a) General. Years of your earnings after 1978 not used in the computation of your primary insurance amount (or in earlier recomputations) under the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method may be substituted for earlier years of your indexed earnings in a recomputation, but only under the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method. See §404.288 for the rules on recomputing when you are entitled to a monthly pension based on noncovered employment.

(b) Substituting actual dollar amounts in earnings for earlier years of indexed earnings. When we recompute your primary insurance amount under the average-indexed-monthly earnings method, we use actual dollar amounts, i.e., no indexing, for earnings not included in the initial computation or earlier recomputation. These later earnings are substituted for earlier years of indexed or actual earnings that are lower.

(c) Benefit formula used in recomputation. The formula that was used in the first computation of your primary insurance amount is also used in recomputations of your primary insurance amount.

(d) Your recomputed primary insurance amount. We recompute your primary insurance amount by applying the benefit formula to your average indexed monthly earnings as revised to include additional earnings. See §404.281. We then increase the recomputed PIA by the amounts of any automatic cost-of-living or ad hoc increases in primary insurance amounts that have become effective since you reached age 62, or became disabled or died before age 62.

(e) Minimum increase in primary insurance amounts. Your primary insurance amount may not be recomputed unless doing so would increase it by at least $1.

Example 1. Ms. A, whose primary insurance amount we computed to be $432.40 in June 1979 in §§404.210 through 404.212 (based on average indexed monthly earnings of $903), had earnings of $11,000 in 1979 which were not used in the initial computation of her primary insurance amount. We may recompute her primary insurance amount effective for January 1980. In this recomputation, her 1979 earnings may be substituted in their actual dollar amount for the lowest year of her indexed earnings that was used in the initial computation. In Ms. A's case, we substitute the $11,000 for her 1966 indexed earnings of $8,911.36. Her total indexed earnings are now $251,470.05 and her new average indexed monthly earnings are $911. We apply to Ms. A's new average indexed monthly earnings the same benefit formula we used in the initial computation. Doing so produces an amount of $396.00. An automatic cost-of-living increase of 9.9 percent was effective in June 1979. We increase the $396.00 amount by 9.9 percent to find Ms. A's recomputed primary insurance amount of $435.30. Later we increased the primary insurance amount to $497.60 to reflect the 14.3 percent cost-of-living increase beginning June 1980 and to $553.40 to reflect the 11.2 percent cost-of-living increase beginning June 1981.
Example 2. Mr. B, whose primary insurance amount we computed to be $429.20 (based on average monthly wages of $502) in June 1978 in §§404.220 through 404.222, had earnings of $12,000 in 1978 which were not used in the initial computation of his primary insurance amount. We may recompute his primary insurance amount effective for January 1979. In this recomputation, his 1978 earnings are substituted for the lowest year of earnings used in the initial computation ($2,700 in 1952). Mr. B's total earnings are now $142,000 and his new average monthly wage is $537.

We next find Mr. B's new average monthly wage in column III of the December 1978 benefit table in appendix III. Reading across, we find his recomputed primary insurance amount on the same line in column IV, which is $407.70. We then apply the 9.9 percent, the 14.3 percent and the 11.2 percent automatic cost-of-living increases for June 1979, June 1980, and June 1981, respectively, to compute Mr. B's primary insurance amount of $569.60.

(f) Guaranteed alternatives. We may recompute your primary insurance amount by any of the following methods for which you qualify, if doing so would result in a higher amount than the one computed under the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method. Earnings in or after the year you reach age 62 cannot be used.

(1) If you reached age 62 after 1978 and before 1984, we may recompute to include earnings for years before the year you reached age 62 by using the guaranteed alternative (§404.231). We will increase the result by any cost-of-living or ad hoc increases in the primary insurance amounts that have become effective in and after the year you reached age 62.

(2) We will also recompute under the old-start guarantee (§404.242) and the prior-disability guarantee (§404.252) if you meet the requirements of either or both these methods.

[47 FR 30734, July 15, 1982, as amended at 52 FR 47918, Dec. 17, 1987]

§404.285   Recomputations performed automatically.

Each year, we examine the earnings record of every retired, disabled, and deceased worker to see if the worker's primary insurance amount may be recomputed under any of the methods we have described. When a recomputation is called for, we perform it automatically and begin paying the higher benefits based on your recomputed primary insurance amount for the earliest possible month that the recomputation can be effective. You do not have to request this service, although you may request a recomputation at an earlier date than one would otherwise be performed (see §404.286). Doing so, however, does not allow your increased primary insurance amount to be effective any sooner than it would be under an automatic recomputation. You may also waive a recomputation if one would disadvantage you or your family (see §404.287).

§404.286   How to request an immediate recomputation.

You may request that your primary insurance amount be recomputed sooner than it would be recomputed automatically. To do so, you must make the request in writing to us and provide acceptable evidence of your earnings not included in the first computation or earlier recomputation of your primary insurance amount. If doing so will increase your primary insurance amount, we will recompute it. However, we cannot begin paying higher benefits on the recomputed primary insurance amount any sooner than we could under an automatic recomputation, i.e., for January of the year following the year in which the earnings were paid or derived.

§404.287   Waiver of recomputation.

If you or your family would be disadvantaged in some way by a recomputation of your primary insurance amount, or you and every member of your family do not want your primary insurance amount to be recomputed for any other reason, you may waive (that is, give up your right to) a recomputation, but you must do so in writing. That you waive one recomputation, however, does not mean that you also waive future recomputations for which you might be eligible.

§404.288   Recomputing when you are entitled to a monthly pension based on noncovered employment.

(a) After entitlement to old-age or disability insurance benefits. If you first become eligible for old-age or disability insurance benefits after 1985 and you later become entitled to a monthly pension based on noncovered employment, we may recompute your primary insurance amount under the rules in §404.213. When recomputing, we will use the amount of the pension to which you are entitled or deemed entitled in the first month that you are concurrently eligible for both the pension and old-age or disability insurance benefits. We will disregard the rule in §404.284(e) that the recomputation must increase your primary insurance amount by at least $1.

(b) Already entitled to benefits and to a pension based on noncovered employment. If we have already computed or recomputed your primary insurance amount to take into account your monthly pension, we may later recompute for one of the reasons explained in §404.281. We will recompute your primary insurance amount under the rules in §§404.213 and 404.284. Any increase resulting from the recomputation under the rules of §404.284 will be added to the most recent primary insurance amount which we had computed to take into account your monthly pension.

(c) After your death. If one or more survivors are entitled to benefits after your death, we will recompute the primary insurance amount as though it had never been affected by your entitlement to a monthly pension based in whole or in part on noncovered employment.

[52 FR 47918, Dec. 17, 1987]

Recalculations of Primary Insurance Amounts

§404.290   Recalculations.

(a) Your primary insurance amount may be “recalculated” in certain instances. When we recalculate your primary amount, we refigure it under the same method we used in the first computation by taking into account—

(1) Earnings (including compensation for railroad service) incorrectly included or excluded in the first computation;

(2) Special deemed earnings credits including credits for military service (see subpart N of this part) and for individuals interned during World War II (see subpart K of this part), not available at the time of the first computation;

(3) Correction of clerical or mathematical errors; or

(4) Other miscellaneous changes in status.

(b) Unlike recomputations, which may only serve to increase your primary insurance amount, recalculations may serve to either increase or reduce it.

Appendixes to Subpart C of Part 404—Note

The following appendices contain data that are needed in computing primary insurance amounts. Appendix I contains average of the total wages figures, which we use to index a worker's earnings for purposes of computing his or her average indexed monthly earnings. Appendix II contains benefit formulas which we apply to a worker's average indexed monthly earnings to find his or her primary insurance amount. Appendix III contains the benefit table we use to find a worker's primary insurance amount from his or her average monthly wage. We use the figures in appendix IV to find your years of coverage for years after 1950 for purposes of your special minimum primary insurance amount. Appendix V contains the table for computing the special minimum primary insurance amount. Appendix VI is a table of the percentage increases in primary insurance amounts since 1978. Appendix VII is a table of the old-law contribution and benefit base that would have been effective under the Social Security Act without enactment of the 1977 amendments.

The figures in the appendices are by law automatically adjusted each year. We are required to announce the changes through timely publication in the Federal Register. The only exception to the requirement of publication in the Federal Register is the update of benefit amounts shown in appendix III. We update the benefit amounts for payment purposes but are not required by law to publish this extensive table in the Federal Register. We have not updated the table in appendix III, but the introductory paragraphs at appendix III explain how you can compute the current benefit amount.

When we publish the figures in the Federal Register, we do not change every one of these figures. Instead, we provide new ones for each year that passes. We continue to use the old ones for various computation purposes, as the regulations show. Most of the new figures for these appendices are required by law to be published by November 1 of each year. Notice of automatic cost-of-living increases in primary insurance amounts is required to be published within 45 days of the end of the applicable measuring period for the increase (see §§404.274 and 404.276). In effect, publication is required within 45 days of the end of the third calendar quarter of any year in which there is to be an automatic cost-of-living increase.

We begin to use the new data in computing primary insurance amounts as soon as required by law, even before we periodically update these appendices. If the data you need to find your primary insurance amount have not yet been included in the appendices, you may find the figures in the Federal Register on or about November 1.

[52 FR 8247, Mar. 17, 1987]

Appendix I to Subpart C of Part 404—Average of the Total Wages for Years After 1950

Explanation: We use these figures to index your social security earnings (as described in §404.211) for purposes of computing your average indexed monthly earnings.

Calendar yearAverage of the total wages
1951$2,799.16
19522,973.32
19533,139.44
19543,155.64
19553,301.44
19563,532.36
19573,641.72
19583,673.80
19593,855.80
19604,007.12
19614,086.76
19624,291.40
19634,396.64
19644,576.32
19654,658.72
19664,938.36
19675,213.44
19685,571.76
19695,893.76
19706,186.24
19716,497.08
19727,133.80
19737,580.16
19748,030.76
19758,630.92
19769,226.48
19779,779.44
197810,556.03
197911,479.46
198012,513.46
198113,773.10
198214,531.34
198315,239.24
198416,135.07
198516,822.51
198617,321.82
198718,426.51
198819,334.04
198920,099.55
199021,027.98

[47 FR 30734, July 15, 1982, as amended at 52 FR 8247, Mar. 17, 1987; 57 FR 44096, Sept. 24, 1992]

Appendix II to Subpart C of Part 404—Benefit Formulas Used With Average Indexed Monthly Earnings

As explained in §404.212, we use one of the formulas below to compute your primary insurance amount from your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME). To select the appropriate formula, we find in the left-hand column the year after 1978 in which you reach age 62, or become disabled, or die before age 62. The benefit formula to be used in computing your primary insurance amount is on the same line in the right-hand columns. For example, if you reach age 62 or become disabled or die before age 62 in 1979, then we compute 90 percent of the first $180 of AIME, 32 percent of the next $905 of AIME, and 15 percent of AIME over $1,085. After we figure your amount for each step in the formula, we add the amounts. If the total is not already a multiple of $0.10, we round the total as follows:

(1) For computations using the benefit formulas in effect for 1979 through 1982, we round the total upward to the nearest $0.10, and

(2) For computations using the benefit formulas in effect for 1983 and later, we round the total downward to the nearest $0.10.

Benefit Formulas

Year you reach age 62190 percent of the first—plus 32 percent of the next—plus 15 percent of AIME over—
1979$180$905$1,085
19801949771,171
19812111,0631,274
19822301,1581,388
19832541,2741,528
19842671,3451,612
19852801,4111,691
19862971,4931,790
19873101,5561,866
19883191,6031,922
19893391,7052,044
19903561,7892,145
19913701,8602,230
19923871,9462,333

1Or become disabled or die before age 62.

[57 FR 44096, Sept. 24, 1992; 57 FR 45878, Oct. 5, 1992]

Appendix III to Subpart C of Part 404—Benefit Table

This benefit table shows primary insurance amounts and maximum family benefits in effect in December 1978 based on cost-of-living increases which became effective for June 1978. (See §404.403 for information on maximum family benefits.) You will also be able to find primary insurance amounts for an individual whose entitlement began in the period June 1977 through May 1978.

The benefit table in effect in December 1978 had a minimum primary insurance amount of $121.80. As explained in §404.222(b), certain workers eligible, or who died without having been eligible, before 1982 had their benefit computed from this table. However, the minimum benefit provision was repealed for other workers by the 1981 amendments to the Act (the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, Pub. L. 97-35 as modified by Pub. L. 97-123). As a result, this benefit table includes a downward extension from the former minimum of $121.80 to the lowest primary insurance amount now possible. The extension is calculated as follows. For each single dollar of average monthly wage in the benefit table, the primary insurance amount shown for December 1978 is $121.80 multiplied by the ratio of that average monthly wage to $76. The upper limit of each primary insurance benefit range in column I of the table is $16.20 multiplied by the ratio of the average monthly wage in column III of the table to $76. The maximum family benefit is 150 percent of the corresponding primary insurance amount.

The repeal of the minimum benefit provision is effective with January 1982 for most workers and their families where the worker initially becomes eligible for benefits after 1981 or dies after 1981 without having been eligible before January 1982. For members of a religious order who are required to take a vow of poverty, as explained in 20 CFR 404.1024, and which religious order elected Social Security coverage before December 29, 1981, the repeal is effective with January 1992 based on first eligibility or death in that month or later.

To use this table, you must first compute the primary insurance benefit (column I) or the average monthly wage (column III), then move across the same line to either column II or column IV as appropriate. To determine increases in primary insurance amounts since December 1978 you should see appendix VI. Appendix VI tells you, by year, the percentage of the increases. In applying each cost-of-living increase to primary insurance amounts, we round the increased primary insurance amount to the next lower multiple of $0.10 if not already a multiple of $0.10. (For cost-of-living increases which are effective before June 1982, we round to the next higher multiple of $0.10.)

Extended December 1978 Table of Benefits Effective January 1982

[In dollars]

I. Primary insurance benefit: If an individual's primary insurance benefit (as determined under §404.241(e)) is—II. Primary insurance amount effective June 1977: Or his or her primary insurance amount is—III. Average monthly wage: Or his or her average monthly wage (as determined under §404.221) is—IV. Primary insurance amount effective January 1982: Then his or her primary insurance amount is—V. Maximum family benefits: And the maximum amount of benefits payable on the basis of his or her wages and self-employment income is—
At least—But not more than—At least—But not more than—
            11.702.60
   0.42   223.305.00
0.43.63   334.907.40
.64.85   446.509.80
.861.06   558.1012.20
1.071.27   669.7014.60
1.281.49   7711.3017.00
1.501.70   8812.9019.40
1.711.91   9914.5021.80
1.922.13   101016.1024.20
2.142.34   111117.7026.60
2.352.55   121219.3029.00
2.562.77   131320.9031.40
2.782.98   141422.5033.80
2.993.19   151524.1036.20
3.203.41   161625.7038.60
3.423.62   171727.3041.00
3.633.83   181828.9043.40
3.844.05   191930.5045.80
4.064.26   202032.1048.20
4.274.47   212133.7050.60
4.484.68   222235.3053.00
4.694.90   232336.9055.40
4.915.11   242438.5057.80
5.125.32   252540.1060.20
5.335.54   262641.7062.60
5.555.75   272743.3065.00
5.765.96   282844.9067.40
5.976.18   292946.5069.80
6.196.39   303048.1072.20
6.406.60   313149.7074.60
6.616.82   323251.3077.00
6.837.03   333352.9079.40
7.047.24   343454.5081.80
7.257.46   353556.1084.20
7.477.67   363657.7086.60
7.687.88   373759.3089.00
7.898.10   383860.9091.40
8.118.31   393962.6093.90
8.328.52   404064.2096.30
8.538.73   414165.8098.70
8.748.95   424267.40101.10
8.969.16   434369.00103.50
9.179.37   444470.60105.90
9.389.59   454572.20108.30
9.609.80   464673.80110.70
9.8110.01   474775.40113.10
10.0210.23   484877.00115.50
10.2410.44   494978.60117.90
10.4510.65   505080.20120.30
10.6610.87   515181.80122.70
10.8811.08   525283.40125.10
11.0911.29   535385.00127.50
11.3011.51   545486.60129.90
11.5211.72   555588.20132.30
11.7311.93   565689.80134.70
11.9412.15   575791.40137.10
12.1612.36   585893.00139.50
12.3712.57   595994.60141.90
12.5812.78   606096.20144.30
12.7913.00   616197.80146.70
13.0113.21   626299.40149.10
13.2213.42   6363101.00151.50
13.4313.64   6464102.60153.90
13.6513.85   6565104.20156.30
13.8614.06   6666105.80158.70
14.0714.28   6767107.40161.10
14.2914.49   6868109.00163.50
14.5014.70   6969110.60165.90
14.7114.92   7070112.20168.30
14.9315.13   7171113.80170.70
15.1415.34   7272115.40173.10
15.3515.56   7373117.00175.50
15.5715.77   7474118.60177.90
15.7815.98   7575120.20180.30
15.9916.20   7676121.80182.70

Table of Benefits in Effect in December 1978

[In dollars]

I. Primary insurance benefit: If an individual's primary insurance benefit (as determined under §404.241(e)) is—II. Primary insurance amount effective June 1977: Or his or her primary insurance amount is—III. Average monthly wage: Or his or her average monthly wage (as determined under §404.221) is—IV. Primary insurance amount effective June 1978: Then his or her primary insurance amount is—V. Maximum family benefits: And the maximum amount of benefits payable on the basis of his or her wages and self-employment income is—
At least—But not more than—At least—But not more than—
   16.20114.30   76121.80182.70
16.2116.84116.107778123.70185.60
16.8517.60118.807980126.60189.90
17.6118.40121.008181128.90193.50
18.4119.24123.008283131.20196.80
19.2520.00125.808485134.00201.00
20.0120.64128.108687136.50204.80
20.6521.28130.108889138.60207.90
21.2921.88132.709090141.40212.10
21.8922.28135.009192143.80215.70
22.2922.68137.209394146.20219.20
22.5923.08139.409596148.50222.80
23.0923.44142.009797151.30227.00
23.4523.76144.309899153.70230.60
23.7724.20147.10100101156.70235.10
24.2124.60149.20102102158.90238.50
24.6125.00151.70103104161.60242.40
25.0125.48154.50105106164.60246.90
25.4925.92157.00107107167.30251.00
25.9326.40159.40108109169.80254.80
26.4126.94161.90110113172.50258.80
26.9527.46164.20114118174.90262.40
27.4728.00166.70119122177.60266.50
28.0128.68169.30123127180.40270.60
28.6929.25171.80128132183.00274.60
29.2629.68174.10133136185.50278.30
29.6930.36176.50137141188.00282.10
30.3730.92179.10142146190.80286.20
30.9331.36181.70147150193.60290.40
31.3732.00183.90151155195.90293.90
32.0132.60186.50156160198.70298.10
32.6133.20189.00161164201.30302.00
33.2133.88191.40165169203.90305.90
33.8934.50194.00170174206.70310.10
34.5135.00196.30175178209.10313.70
35.0135.80198.90179183211.90318.00
35.8136.40201.30184188214.40321.70
36.4137.08203.90189193217.20326.00
37.0937.60206.40194197219.90329.90
37.6138.20208.80198202222.40333.60
38.2139.12211.50203207225.30338.00
39.1339.68214.00208211228.00342.00
39.6940.33216.00212216230.10345.20
40.3441.12218.70217221233.00349.50
41.1341.76221.20222225235.60353.40
41.7742.44223.90226230238.50357.80
42.4543.20226.30231235241.10361.70
43.2143.76229.10236239244.00366.10
43.7744.44231.20240244246.30371.10
44.4544.88233.50245249248.70378.80
44.8945.60236.40250253251.80384.90
      238.70254258254.30392.50
      240.80259263256.50400.00
      243.70264267259.60206.00
      246.10268272262.10413.70
      248.70273277264.90421.20
      251.00278281267.40427.20
      253.50282286270.00434.90
      256.20287291272.90442.60
      258.30292295275.10448.50
      261.10296300278.10456.10
      263.50301305280.70463.80
      265.80306309283.10469.80
      268.50310314286.00477.40
      270.70315319288.30485.10
      273.20320323291.00491.10
      275.80324328293.80498.70
      278.10329333296.20506.20
      281.00334337299.30512.50
      283.00338342301.40519.90
      285.60343347304.20527.50
      288.30348351307.10533.60
      290.50352356309.40541.20
      293.30357361312.40548.80
      295.60362365314.90554.90
      297.90366370317.30562.50
      300.60371375320.20569.90
      303.10376379322.90576.30
      305.70380384325.60583.90
      307.90385389328.00591.30
      310.30390393330.50597.40
      313.00394398333.40605.10
      315.40399403336.00612.70
      318.20404407338.90618.60
      320.20408412341.10626.30
      322.50413417343.50633.80
      324.80418421346.00639.90
      327.40422426348.70647.50
      329.60427431351.10655.10
      331.60432436353.20662.70
      334.40437440356.20665.70
      336.50441445358.40669.70
      338.70446450360.80673.40
      341.30451454363.50676.30
      343.50455459365.90680.10
      345.80460464368.30683.80
      347.90465468370.60687.10
      350.70469473373.50690.80
      352.60474478375.60694.60
      354.90479482378.00697.70
      357.40483487380.70701.60
      359.70488492383.10705.40
      361.90493496385.50708.40
      364.50497501388.20712.10
      366.60502506390.50715.80
      368.90507510392.90719.00
      371.10511515395.30722.80
      373.70516520398.00726.70
      375.80521524400.30729.50
      378.10525529402.70733.40
      380.80530534405.60737.10
      382.80535538407.70740.20
      385.10539543410.20744.10
      387.60544548412.80747.80
      389.90549553415.30751.60
      392.10554556417.60753.90
      393.90557560419.60756.90
      396.10561563421.90759.30
      398.20564567424.10762.30
      400.40568570426.50764.50
      402.30571574428.50767.50
      404.40575577430.70769.90
      406.20578581432.70772.80
      408.40582584435.00775.20
      410.20585588436.90778.20
      412.60589591439.50780.50
      414.60592595441.60783.50
      416.70596598443.80785.60
      418.70599602446.00788.90
      420.70603605448.10791.10
      422.80606609450.30794.00
      424.90610612452.60796.50
      426.90613616454.70799.50
      428.90617620456.80802.50
      431.00621623459.10804.80
      433.00624627461.20807.90
      435.10628630463.40810.70
      437.10631634465.60814.70
      439.20635637467.80818.50
      441.40638641470.10822.40
      443.20642644472.10826.10
      445.40645648474.40830.10
      447.40649652476.50833.70
      448.60653656477.80836.10
      449.90657660479.20838.40
      451.50661665480.90841.50
      453.10666670482.60844.50
      454.80671675484.40847.40
      456.40676680486.10850.50
      458.00681685487.80853.50
      459.80686690489.70856.40
      461.20691695491.20859.60
      462.80696700492.90862.60
      464.50701705494.70865.60
      466.10706710496.40868.60
      467.70711715498.20871.50
      469.40716720500.00874.60
      471.00721725501.70877.60
      472.60726730503.40880.70
      474.20731735505.10883.80
      475.90736740506.90886.70
      477.40741745508.50889.90
      478.90746750510.10892.70
      480.40751755511.70896.40
      481.80756760513.20897.80
      483.20761765514.70900.40
      484.50766770516.00903.00
      485.80771775517.40905.40
      487.20776780518.90907.90
      488.60781785520.40910.40
      489.80786790521.70912.90
      491.10791795523.10915.40
      492.50796800524.60918.00
      494.00801805526.20920.50
      495.30806810527.50923.00
      496.70811815529.00925.60
      498.00816820530.40928.00
      499.40821825531.90930.60
      500.70826830533.30933.10
      502.00831835534.70935.70
      503.30836840536.10938.10
      504.70841845537.60940.80
      506.00846850538.90943.00
      507.50851855540.50945.70
      508.80856860541.90948.10
      510.20861865543.40950.70
      511.50866870544.80953.20
      512.90871875546.30955.70
      514.10876880547.60958.20
      515.50881885549.10960.80
      516.80886890550.40963.20
      518.20891895551.90966.00
      519.60896900553.40968.30
      521.00901905554.90970.90
      522.30906910556.30973.50
      523.70911915557.80976.00
      525.10916920559.30978.30
      526.30921925560.60961.00
      527.60926930561.90983.40
      529.00931935563.40985.90
      530.40936940564.90988.50
      531.70941945566.30991.00
      533.00946950567.70993.50
      534.50951955569.30996.10
      535.90956960570.80998.60
      537.30961965572.301,001.00
      538.40966970573.401,003.60
      539.80971975574.901,006.20
      541.20976980576.401,008.50
      542.60981985577.901,011.10
      543.80986990579.201,013.60
      545.20991995580.701,016.20
      546.609961,000582.201,018.60
      547.801,0011,005583.501,020.70
      548.901,0061,010584.601,023.20
      550.201,0111,015586.001,025.30
      551.501,0161,020587.401,027.80
      552.601,0211,025588.601,029.90
      553.801,0261,030589.801,032.20
      555.101,0311,035591.201,034.50
      556.201,0361,040592.401,036.70
      557.501,0411,045593.801,039.10
      558.801,0461,050595.201,041.30
      559.801,0511,055596.201,043.40
      561.101,0561,060597.601,045.90
      562.401,0611,065599.001,048.00
      563.601,0661,070600.301,050.50
      564.801,0711,075601.601,052.60
      566.001,0761,080602.801,054.90
      567.301,0811,085604.201,057.10
      568.401,0861,090605.401,059.40
      569.701,0911,095606.801,061.70
      571.001,0961,100608.201,064.00
      572.001,1011,105609.201,066.10
      573.301,1061,110610.601.068.50
      574.601,1111,115612.001,070.70
      575.701,1161,120613.201,073.10
      577.001,1211,125614.601,075.30
      578.201,1261,130615.801,077.60
      579.401,1311,135617.101,079.70
      580.601,1361,140618.401,082.20
      581.901,1411,145619.801,084.40
      583.101,1461,150621.101,086.70
      584.201,1511,555622.201,088.80
      585.501,1561,160623.601,091.10
      586.701,1611,165624.901,093.40
      587.901,1661,170626.201,095.80
      589.201,1711,175627.501,098.00
      590.301,1761,180628.701,100.20
      591.401,1811,185629.901,102.20
      592.601,1861,190631.201,104.30
      593.701,1911,195632.301,106.50
      594.801,1961,200633.501,108.60
      595.901,2011,205634.701,110.60
      597.101,2061,210636.001,112.90
      598.201,2111,215637.101,114.90
      599.301,2161,220638.301,117.00
      600.401,2211,225639.501,119.00
      601.601,2261,230640.801,121.20
      602.701,2311,235641.901,123.30
      603.801,2361,240643.101,125.40
      605.001,2411,245644.401,127.50
      606.101,2461,250645.501,129.60
      607.201,2511,255646.701,131.60
      608.301,2561,260647.901,133.80
      609.501,2611,265649.201,135.90
      610.601,2661,270650.301,138.00
      611.701,2711,275651.501,140.00
      612.801,2761,280652.701,142.20
      613.801,2811,285653.701,144.10
      614.801,2861,290654.901,146.10
      616.001,2911,295656.101,148.00
      617.001,2961,300657.201,150.00
      618.101,3011,305658.301,152.00
      619.101,3061,310659.401,154.00
      620.201,3111,315660.601,155.90
      621.301,3161,320661.701,157.90
      622.301,3211,325662.801,159.80
      623.401,3261,330664.001,161.90
      624.401,3311,335665.001,163.80
      625.501,3361,340666.201,165.80
      626.601,3411,345667.401,167.70
      627.601,3461,350668.401,169.70
      628.701,3511,355669.601,171.70
      629.701,3561,360670.701,173.70
      630.801,3611,365671.901,175.60
      631.801,3661,370672.901,177.70
      632.901,3711,375674.101,179.60
      633.901,3761,380675.201,181.60
      634.901,3811,385676.201,183.40
      635.901,3861,390677.301,185.30
      636.901,3911,395678.301,187.10
      637.901,3961,400679.401,189.00
      638.901,4011,405680.501,190.80
      639.901,4061,410681.501,192.70
      640.901,4111,415682.601,194.60
      641.901,4161,420683.701,196.50
      642.901,4211,425685.701,198.30
      643.901,4261,430684.801,200.20
      644.901,4311,435686.901,202.00
      645.901,4361,440687.901,203.90
      646.901,4411,445689.001,205.70
      647.901,4461,450690.101,207.70
      648.901,4511,455691.101,209.50
      649.901,4561,460692.201,211.40
      650.901,4611,465693.301,213.20
      651.901,4661,470694.301,215.10
      652.901,4711,475695.401,216.90

[47 FR 30734, July 15, 1982; 47 FR 35479, Aug. 16, 1982, as amended at 48 FR 46143, Oct. 11, 1983; 48 FR 50076, Oct. 31, 1983]

Appendix IV to Subpart C of Part 404—Earnings Needed for a Year of Coverage After 1950

Minimum Social Security Earnings to Qualify for a Year of Coverage After 1950 for Purposes of the—

YearSpecial minimum primary insurance amountBenefit computations described in section 404.213(d)2
1951-1954$900$900
1955-19581,0501,050
1959-19651,2001,200
1966-19671,6501,650
1968-19711,9501,950
19722,2502,250
19732,7002,700
19743,3003,300
19753,5253,525
19763,8253,825
19774,1254,125
19784,4254,425
19794,7254,725
19805,1005,100
19815,5505,550
19826,0756,075
19836,6756,675
19847,0507,050
19857,4257,425
19867,8757,875
19878,1758,175
19888,4008,400
19898,9258,925
19909,5259,525
19915,9409,900
19926,21010,350

2Applies only to certain individuals with pensions from noncovered employment.

Note: For 1951-78, the amounts shown are 25 percent of the contribution and benefit base (the contribution and benefit base is the same as the annual wage limitation as shown in §404.1047) in effect. For years after 1978, however, the amounts are 25 percent of what the contribution and benefit base would have been if the 1977 Social Security Amendments had not been enacted, except, for special minimum benefit purposes, the applicable percentage is 15 percent for years after 1990.

[57 FR 44096, Sept. 24, 1992]

Appendix V to Subpart C of Part 404—Computing the Special Minimum Primary Insurance Amount and Related Maximum Family Benefits

These tables are based on section 215(a)(1)(C)(i) of the Social Security Act, as amended. They include the percent cost-of-living increase shown in appendix VI for each effective date.

June 1979

I. Years of coverageII. Primary insurance amountIII. Maximum family benefit
11$12.70$19.10
1225.3038.00
1338.0057.00
1450.6075.90
1563.2094.90
1675.90113.90
1788.50132.80
18101.20151.80
19113.80170.70
20126.40189.60
21139.10208.70
22151.70227.60
23164.40246.60
24177.00265.50
25189.60284.50
26202.30303.50
27214.90322.40
28227.50341.30
29240.20360.30
30252.80379.20

June 1980

I. Years of coverageII. Primary insurance amountIII. Maximum family benefit
11$14.60$21.90
1229.0043.50
1343.5065.30
1457.9086.90
1572.30108.50
1686.80130.20
17101.20151.80
18115.70173.60
19130.10195.20
20144.50216.80
21159.00238.60
22173.40260.20
23188.00282.00
24202.40303.60
25216.80325.20
26231.30347.00
27245.70368.60
28260.10390.20
29274.60411.90
30289.00433.50

June 1981

I. Years of coverageII. Primary insurance amountIII. Maximum family benefits
11$16.30$24.50
1232.3048.50
1348.4072.70
1464.4096.70
1580.40120.70
1696.60144.90
17112.60168.90
18128.70193.10
19144.70217.10
20160.70241.10
21176.90265.40
22192.90289.40
23209.10313.70
24225.10337.70
25241.10361.70
26257.30386.00
27273.30410.00
28289.30434.00
29305.40458.10
30321.40482.10

June 1982

I. Years of coverageII. Primary insurance amountIII. Maximum family benefit
11$17.50$26.30
1234.6052.00
1351.9078.00
1469.10103.80
1586.30129.60
16103.70155.60
17120.90181.30
18138.20207.30
19155.40233.10
20172.50258.90
21189.90285.00
22207.10310.80
23224.50336.90
24241.70362.60
25258.90388.40
26276.30414.50
27293.50440.30
28310.70466.10
29327.90491.90
30345.10517.70

December 1983

I. Years of coverageII. Primary insurance amountIII. Maximum family benefit
11$18.10$27.20
1235.8053.80
1353.7080.70
1471.50107.40
1589.30134.10
16107.30161.00
17125.10187.60
18143.00214.50
19160.80241.20
20178.50267.90
21196.50294.90
22214.30321.60
23232.30348.60
24250.10375.20
25267.90401.90
26285.90429.00
27303.70455.70
28321.50482.40
29339.30509.10
30357.10535.80

December 1984

I. Years of coverageII. Primary insurance amountIII. Maximum family benefit
11$18.70$28.10
1237.0055.60
1355.5083.50
1474.00111.10
1592.40138.70
16111.00166.60
17129.40194.10
18148.00222.00
19166.40249.60
20184.70277.20
21203.30305.20
22221.80332.80
23240.40360.80
24258.80388.30
25277.20415.90
26295.90444.00
27314.30471.60
28332.70499.20
29351.10526.90
30369.50554.50

December 1985

I. Years of coverageII. Primary insurance amountIII. Maximum family benefit
11$19.20$28.90
1238.1057.30
1357.2086.00
1476.20114.50
1595.20142.90
16114.40171.70
17133.40200.10
18152.50228.80
19171.50257.30
20190.40285.70
21209.60314.60
22228.60343.10
23247.80371.90
24266.80400.30
25285.70428.70
26305.00457.70
27324.00486.20
28343.00514.60
29361.90543.20
30380.90571.60

December 1986

I. Years of coverageII. Primary insurance amountIII. Maximum family benefit
11$19.40$29.20
1238.5058.00
1357.9087.10
1477.10115.90
1596.40144.70
16115.80173.90
17135.10202.70
18154.40231.70
19173.70260.60
20192.80289.40
21212.30318.60
22231.50347.50
23251.00376.70
24270.20405.50
25289.40434.20
26308.90463.60
27328.20492.50
28347.40521.20
29366.60550.20
30385.80579.00

December 1987

I. Years of coverageII. Primary insurance amountIII. Maximum family benefit
11$20.20$30.40
1240.1060.40
1360.3090.70
1480.30120.70
15100.40150.70
16120.60181.20
17140.70211.20
18160.80241.40
19180.90271.50
20200.80301.50
21221.20331.90
22241.20362.00
23261.50392.50
24281.50422.50
25301.50452.40
26321.80483.00
27341.90513.10
28361.90543.00
29381.90573.30
30402.00603.30

December 1988

I. Years of coverageII. Primary insurance amountIII. Maximum family benefit
11$21.00$31.60
1241.7062.80
1362.7094.30
1483.50125.50
15104.40156.70
16125.40188.40
17146.30219.60
18167.20251.00
19188.10282.30
20208.80313.50
21230.00345.10
22250.80376.40
23271.90408.20
24292.70439.40
25313.50470.40
26334.60502.30
27355.50533.60
28376.30564.70
29397.10596.20
30418.00627.40

December 1989

I. Years of coverageII. Primary insurance amountIII. Maximum family benefit
11$21.90$33.00
1243.6065.70
1365.6098.70
1487.40131.30
15109.30164.00
16131.20197.20
17153.10229.90
18175.00262.70
19196.90295.50
20218.60328.20
21240.80361.30
22262.50394.00
23284.60427.30
24306.40460.00
25328.20492.50
26350.30525.90
27372.20558.60
28393.90591.20
29415.70624.20
30437.60656.80

December 1990

I. Years of coverageII. Primary insurance amountIII. Maximum family benefit
11$23.00$34.70
1245.9069.20
1369.10104.00
1492.10138.30
15115.20172.80
16138.20207.80
17161.30242.30
18184.40276.80
19207.50311.40
20230.40345.90
21253.80380.80
22276.60415.20
23299.90450.30
24322.90484.80
25345.90519.00
26369.20554.20
27392.20588.70
28415.10623.10
29438.10657.90
30461.20692.20

December 1991

I. Years of coverageII. Primary insurance amountIII. Maximum family benefit
11$23.80$35.90
1247.5071.70
1371.60107.80
1495.50143.40
15119.40179.10
16143.30215.40
17167.20251.20
18191.20287.00
19215.10322.90
20238.90358.60
21263.10394.80
22286.80430.50
23310.90466.90
24334.80502.70
25358.60538.20
26382.80574.70
27406.70610.40
28430.40646.10
29454.30682.20
30478.20717.80

Note: The amounts shown in the above table for years of coverage less than 19 are not payable for June 1981 through December 1981 because the corresponding values shown in column II are less than the $135.70 minimum primary insurance amount payable for that period. For months after December 1981, a special minimum primary insurance amount of $128.70 will be payable.

[47 FR 30734, July 15, 1982, as amended at 52 FR 8248, Mar. 17, 1987; 57 FR 44097, Sept. 24, 1992; 57 FR 45878, Oct. 5, 1992]

Appendix VI to Subpart C of Part 404—Percentage of Automatic Increases in Primary Insurance Amounts Since 1978

Effective datePercentage increase
06/799.9
06/8014.3
06/8111.2
06/827.4
12/833.5
12/843.5
12/853.1
12/861.3
12/874.2
12/884.0
12/894.7
12/905.4
12/913.7

[57 FR 44097, Sept. 24, 1992]

Appendix VII to Subpart C of Part 404—“Old-Law” Contribution and Benefit Base

Explanation: We use these figures to determine the earnings needed for a year of coverage for years after 1978 (see §404.261 and appendix IV). This is the contribution and benefit base that would have been effective under the Social Security Act without the enactment of the 1977 amendments.

YearAmount
1979$18,900
198020,400
198122,200
198224,300
198326,700
198428,200
198529,700
198631,500
198732,700
198833,600
198935,700
199038,100
199139,600
199241,400

[52 FR 8248, Mar. 17, 1987, as amended at 57 FR 44097, Sept. 24, 1992; 57 FR 45878, Oct. 5, 1992]



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