We use "years of coverage" in computing benefits for persons who are also eligible to receive pensions based on non-covered employment. We also use years of coverage when computing special minimum benefits that are payable to certain people who worked in covered employment for at least 11 years. In most cases, the normal benefit computation method provides a higher benefit than the special minimum benefit.

For 1951-78, the amount of Social Security covered earnings needed for a year of coverage is 25 percent of the contribution and benefit base. For years after 1978, the amounts are 25 percent of what the contribution and benefit base would have been if the 1977 Social Security Amendments had not been enacted (hence the name "old-law" base). For special-minimum benefit purposes only, the applicable percentage is 15 percent for years after 1990. Please see the following tables.

Earnings needed Year "Old-law"contributionand benefit base Special minimumprimary insurance amount to qualify for a year of coverage for purposes of— 1991 \$39,600 \$5,940 \$9,900 1992 41,400 6,210 10,350 1993 42,900 6,435 10,725 1994 45,000 6,750 11,250 1995 45,300 6,795 11,325 1996 46,500 6,975 11,625 1997 48,600 7,290 12,150 1998 50,700 7,605 12,675 1999 53,700 8,055 13,425 2000 56,700 8,505 14,175 2001 59,700 8,955 14,925 2002 63,000 9,450 15,750 2003 64,500 9,675 16,125 2004 65,100 9,765 16,275 2005 66,900 10,035 16,725 2006 69,900 10,485 17,475 2007 72,600 10,890 18,150 2008 75,900 11,385 18,975 2009 79,200 11,880 19,800 2010 79,200 11,880 19,800 2011 79,200 11,880 19,800 2012 81,900 12,285 20,475 2013 84,300 12,645 21,075 2014 87,000 13,050 21,750 2015 88,200 13,230 22,050

Contribution and benefit base for 1951-78, old-law base for 1979-90, and the corresponding amount of earnings needed for a year of coverage
Year Contribution
& benefit base
Amount of earnings
1951\$3,600\$900
1952 3,600 900
1953 3,600 900
1954 3,600 900
1955 4,200 1,050
1956 4,200 1,050
1957 4,200 1,050
1958 4,200 1,050
1959 4,800 1,200
1960 4,800 1,200
1961 4,800 1,200
1962 4,800 1,200
1963 4,800 1,200
1964 4,800 1,200
Year Contribution
& benefit base
Amount of earnings
1965 \$4,800 \$1,200
1966 6,600 1,650
1967 6,600 1,650
1968 7,800 1,950
1969 7,800 1,950
1970 7,800 1,950
1971 7,800 1,950
1972 9,000 2,250
1973 10,800 2,700
1974 13,200 3,300
1975 14,100 3,525
1976 15,300 3,825
1977 16,500 4,125
1978 17,700 4,425
Year Old-law contribution
& benefit base
Amount of earnings
1979 \$18,900\$4,725
1980 20,400 5,100
1981 22,200 5,550
1982 24,300 6,075
1983 26,700 6,675
1984 28,200 7,050
1985 29,700 7,425
1986 31,500 7,875
1987 32,700 8,175
1988 33,600 8,400
1989 35,700 8,925
1990 38,100 9,525