Ask Larry

Why Am I Receiving More Than The Published Maximum Benefit Rate?

Born in 1948. Took my benefit at age 70 after having more than 35 years at maximum social security wages. I receive MORE than the published max of $3895. per month for 2021 and have each year since I began my benefit. WHY ???

Hi. Social Security retirement benefits are based on an average of a person's highest 35 years of Social Security covered wage-indexed earnings, and the indexing factors used to calculate a person's benefit rate are different for each calendar year of birth. So, when you read something about a maximum benefit rate, they are likely referring to people who were born in a particular calendar year.

Furthermore, the maximum benefit rate for each calendar year of birth changes after every year. If a person continues to work and pay into Social Security, they can keep increasing their benefit rate indefinitely. Therefore, there really is no "maximum benefit rate", there is only a maximum amount that each person could possibly be paid in a given year based on their year of birth, their earnings history, and when they started drawing their benefits.

Best, Jerry

Sep 3 2021 - 1:13pm
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