Subpart C—Computing Primary Insurance Amounts

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]