Ask Larry

Do Benefit Rates Increase Incrementally Or All At Once?

Hi, looking at a SS retirement income table, does the elidigibility amount increase incrimentally, in years, or all at once?
Thank you, Ann

Hi Ann. First Social Security calculates a person's primary insurance amount (PIA), which is the amount they'd be paid if they start drawing their Social Security retirement benefits at their full retirement age (FRA). PIAs are calculated based on an average of a person's highest 35 years of Social Security covered wage-indexed earnings. PIAs can also be recalculated after any year in which a person earns enough to make that year one of their 35 highest earnings years.

If you start drawing benefits prior to FRA your benefit rate is reduced based on the number of months that you start drawing prior to FRA. And, if you start drawing retirement benefits after FRA you receive delayed retirement credits (DRC) for each month that you don't collect your retirement benefits from FRA until age 70. So, in other words, your benefit rate would be different every month between ages 62 and 70 depending on which month you choose to start drawing your benefits.

You may want to strongly consider using our software ( get an accurate calculation of your potential benefit rates, and to fully analyze the filing options available to you in order to determine your best strategy for maximizing your benefits.

Best, Jerry

Oct 19 2021 - 10:11am
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