Am I receiving the correct Social Security benefit amount?

Published: April 25, 2024

Full question: In 2023, I took my social security benefit at age 70 (born in 1953. previously from age 66 took 50% of my wife’s FRA social security benefit). Had 35+ years at max social wage base. My monthly benefit was $4,498. Social Security Administration said max benefit for 2023 at age 70 was $4,555. Why didn’t I get $4,555 if I had 35+ years at Max social security wage base?

Hi there!

Retirement benefit calculations are based on the interplay between two numbers that are set by the Social Security Administration every year.

The first, as you know, is the maximum taxable earnings amount, currently $168,600 for 2024.

Then, depending on your year of eligibility, the index factors for each of your past years of earnings are used to adjust all prior years up through age 59.

Most likely, one of the years in your calculation has a lower index factor and therefore your total average indexed monthly earnings are slightly less than the highest possible.

You can always reach out to your local SSA office to set up an appointment or phone call.

Take care,

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