Which Indexing Factors Are Used To Calculate A Person's Benefit Rate?

Feb 22 2019 - 10:36am

Hi. I hope you can answer this question that the SS website doesn't seem to answer. Let's say a person quits working sometime before their 62nd birthday. At 62, they file for Social Security benefits. The monthly benefit can be calculated using that year's form 05-10070 and Index Factors. If a person decides not to file, until age 64, does that original 'retirement age' (Step 6) get recalculated using current year index factors, or is that original number the one that is used for the adjusted 64 year old's benefit amount? Thank you!


Regardless of at what age a person applies for benefits, the indexing factors used for calculating their Social Security retirement benefit rate are based on the year they reach age 62 (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.07/handbook-0700.html). The person then receives any subsequent cost of living increases (COLA) announced by Social Security, whether or not they've started drawing benefits. In other words, after a person turns age 62 their benefits are adjusted to keep pace with cost of living increases rather than average wage increases.

Best, Jerry