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Social Security Retirement Insurance

Amount Of Retirement Benefits

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The amount of Social Security Retirement Benefits you will receive is based on two factors:

  • Earnings over your entire working career and
  • The age at which you retire.

Retirement benefits vary depending on which of the following you choose to take:

  • Early Retirement
  • Full Retirement
  • Delayed Retirement

The exact formula for determining your benefits is complicated.

You can obtain an estimate of how much you would be entitled to receive for each of the above retirement classifications by :

  • Going to offsite linkor
  • Contacting Social Security Administration at 800.772.1213 (TTY 800.325.0778). Ask for an Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement (SSA 7004SM). Or you may pick up a form to request your Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement at your local Social Security office.

You can calculate an estimate on your own using calculators provided by Social Security at: offsite link. You will need your earnings history to get an estimate.

Local offices can be found at: offsite link.

Social Security maintains a secure site where you can request your personal information via the internet at: offsite link. The statement you will receive from Social Security will include a complete list of your earnings and the F.I.C.A. taxes paid during your lifetime. It will also provide an estimate of your Early, Full, or Delayed Retirement benefit as well as an estimate of spouse /family and disability (SSDI) benefits. The information is available seven days a week, but generally only during business hours. The hours are posted on the site.

An estimate of your benefits will be mailed to you two to four weeks after you submit a request.

You will need to provide the following information in order for your request to be processed:

  • Your name as shown on your Social Security Card
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your date of birth
  • Your place of birth
  • Your mother's maiden name- last name only (to help identify you)

While the numbers you will receive are estimates, they will be more accurate if you also provide your earnings from last year and an estimate of your current and future earnings, if applicable.

NOTE: All benefits are subject to COLA (Cost Of Living Adjustments)

  • Before you start collecting benefits: Whatever benefit amount your calculations indicate you will be entitled to at various ages, keep in mind that the amounts are likely to be increased by the time you actually start taking Social Security Retirement since everyone is eligible for cost of living benefit increases starting at age 62, even if you don’t begin to receive your benefits until age 65 or later. If you wait to receive benefits until your full retirement age or later, the cost of living increases will accumulate from age 62 onward, and will be added to the monthly benefit.
  • Once you have begun collecting benefits: You continue to remain eligible for an annual cost-of-living increase. The cost of living increase is based on the Consumer Price Index, but does not track it exactly. The amount of each year’s increase is published in the Federal Register on or about November 14th and takes effect the following January 1.

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