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Ask Bob: Are Wages after Age 60 Included in Social Security Benefit Calculation?

A reader is concerned her peak earning years will not be considered in the calculation of her Social Security benefit. Our expert explains how those wages are applied.

Question

Several articles, including ssa.gov, suggest that only wages through age 60 count in the benefits calculation for Social Security. Is this true? My highest wages are now (age 63). I want to be sure if I keep working, it counts.

Answer

Wages through age 60 count in the initial PIA (primary insurance amount) calculation at age 62, says Elaine Floyd, CFP®, director of Retirement and Life Planning at Horsesmouth. After that, the earnings record continues to be updated and the PIA revised upward if a new year of higher earnings replaces an older year of lower earnings in the highest 35 years of earnings used in the PIA formula.

“You can be assured that as long as you are working and paying FICA taxes your earnings will be recorded and your PIA will be automatically adjusted — even after you start receiving benefits,” she confirms.

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Email Robert.Powell@maven.io.

Question

Several articles, including ssa.gov, suggest that only wages through age 60 count in the benefits calculation for Social Security. Is this true? My highest wages are now (age 63). I want to be sure if I keep working, it counts.

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