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  What assumptions did you use in calculating the estimates on my Statement?
  What assumptions did you use in calculating the retirement benefit estimates on my Statement?

We used assumptions about your future earnings and about when you will stop working. The assumptions depend on whether your Statement was automatically issued or you requested it. The differences are explained below. In both types of Statements, the resulting estimates are given in today's dollar amounts (rather than in "future dollars" adjusted for assumed inflation) so that you can compare them with today's living costs.

Automatically issued Statements: We assume that you will continue to work up to each of the potential retirement ages shown and that your earnings will continue at your current level. To determine your future earnings, we look at the last two years on your record. If you have earnings posted for last year, we use that amount for your current and future years' earnings. If your Statement is prepared during the first 6-9 months of the calendar year, your earnings for last year may not be on record yet. In that case, we will use the amount of earnings you had in the year before as your earnings for last year, this year, and future years.

Statements you requested: On the form you completed when you requested your Statement, you told us how much you made last year, how much you expect to make this year and in future years, and when you plan to stop working. We used this information to calculate your estimates, with one exception: the first estimate shown is based on the age at which you said you plan to stop working, but the other estimates assume you will continue to work up to those later ages. For example, if you say you plan to stop work at age 57, the estimate of your benefits at age 62 assumes you have $0 earnings in the following 5 years. Your full retirement benefit and age 70 benefits, however, assume you will work right up to those ages and continue to earn the amount you showed for future earnings on your request. This is done to let you see the effect that the additional earnings would have on your amount of your benefits.

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