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What is the maximum Social Security benefit amount?

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Quick Answer

The maximum Social Security benefit varies depending on a worker's retirement age and the calendar year the worker retires, according to the Social Security Administration. Two workers who retire in the same year, but at different ages, are eligible for different maximums.

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Full Answer

For example, in 2014, a worker who retires at 62 is eligible for a maximum benefit of $1,992 per month; a worker who retires at 66, the full retirement age, is eligible for a maximum $2,642 per month; and a worker who waits until 70 to retire is eligible for a maximum benefit of $3,425 per month, according to the Social Security Administration. A worker's monthly benefit amount is calculated based on his average indexed monthly earnings, or AIME, for up to 35 years worth of work history.

The primary insurance amount, or PIA, is based on the amount a worker receives for retiring at full retirement age, which varies from 65 to 67 depending on the retiree's birth year. Workers who retire before full retirement age receive a percentage of the PIA. For example, a worker who retires at 62 in 2015 receives just 75 percent of the PIA, while a worker born after 1942 who chooses to delay retirement receives a credit that slowly increases to 8 percent of the PIA, according to the Social Security Administration.

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