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.