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Primary Insurance Amount

Automatic Increases

PIA formula bend points

Wage-indexed amounts

PIA definition
The "primary insurance amount" (PIA) is the benefit (before rounding down to next lower whole dollar) a person would receive if he/she elects to begin receiving retirement benefits at his/her normal retirement age. At this age, the benefit is neither reduced for early retirement nor increased for delayed retirement.

PIA formula bend points
The PIA is the sum of three separate percentages of portions of average indexed monthly earnings. The portions depend on the year in which a worker attains age 62, becomes disabled before age 62, or dies before attaining age 62.

For 2008 these portions are the first $711, the amount between $711 and $4,288, and the amount over $4,288. These dollar amounts are the "bend points" of the 2008 PIA formula. A table shows bend points, for years beginning with 1979, for both the PIA and maximum family benefit formulas.

PIA formula
For an individual who first becomes eligible for old-age insurance benefits or disability insurance benefits in 2008, or who dies in 2008 before becoming eligible for benefits, his/her PIA will be the sum of:
(a) 90 percent of the first $711 of his/her average indexed monthly earnings, plus
(b) 32 percent of his/her average indexed monthly earnings over $711 and through $4,288, plus
(c) 15 percent of his/her average indexed monthly earnings over $4,288.
We round this amount to the next lower multiple of $.10 if it is not already a multiple of $.10.

Determination of the PIA bend points for 2008
Amounts in
Average wage indices
For 1977:9,779.44
For 2006: 38,651.41
Bend points for 1979
Computation of bend points for 2008 First bend point
$180 times $38,651.41 divided by $9,779.44 equals $711.42, which rounds to $711.
Second bend point
$1,085 times $38,651.41 divided by $9,779.44 equals $4,288.26, which rounds to $4,288. Portal to U.S. government agencies Privacy Policy  | Website Policies & Other Important Information  | Site Map
Last reviewed or modified Tuesday Mar 18, 2008
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