Skip to content
Social Security Online
SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home

Find An Answer to Your Question

Are you an employer? See answers to your W-2 Reporting questions.
Ask a Question
 My FAQ Update Notifications 
  hide accessible links  
 Search by Category View Category Hierarchy
     Search Tips? 
  Answer ID  

 Printer Friendly Version of This Answer  Print Answer

 Email This Answer  Email Answer
  Why are my past earnings important on my Social Security Statement request?
  I am 45 and plan to work for 20 years. I've been told that my benefit is based on my highest 5 years of earnings, so why are my past earnings important?

For information on how benefits are computed, we suggest you read our publication, Your Retirement Benefit: How It Is Figured. Social Security does not compute a benefit based on the highest five years of earnings. For workers born after 1928, we use the highest 35 years of a worker's earnings.

You can figure your own benefit based on your own earnings record using our new Retirement Estimator. The Estimator also allows you to vary the date of your retirement and shows how different retirement dates will affect your benefits.

  Users who viewed this answer have also viewed
Search for Another Answer
  Search for Another Answer  

Privacy Policy | Website Policies & Other Important Information | Site Map         Need Larger Text?