Primary Insurance Amount

Updated: 29 February 2024

What Does Primary Insurance Amount Mean?

Primary insurance amount (PIA) is a component of Social Security. Specifically, it is the amount of money a person would receive in the form of retirement benefits if they choose to retire at their normal retirement age.

Generally, the more a person pays into Social Security during their lifetime, the higher their PIA will be.

Insuranceopedia Explains Primary Insurance Amount

An individual’s primary insurance amount is calculated based on their average indexed monthly earnings (AIME). The retirement benefit will be based not on the average earnings over the course of the worker’s entire lifetime but will only consider their 35 highest-earning years.

The PIA is calculated by summing up three percentages:

  1. 90% of the AIME up to $885
  2. 32% of the remaining AIME up to $5,336
  3. 15% of the AIME in excess of $5,336

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