Social Security benefit calculator


Q: What percentage of my benefits are lost if I miss paying into Social Security for two years?

A: Unknown and possibly unknowable. Social Security benefits are calculated like federal retirement benefits. They are based on the total number of years of Social Security-covered employment, not to exceed 35. The dollar amount of your actual earnings during those years, stated in constant dollars, is then used to determine your average indexed monthly earnings, or AIME, which is then plugged into the Social Security formula. The Social Security Administration has a number of benefits calculators here that you can plug your own numbers into.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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