What is the maximum Social Security retirement amount for 2013?

Average Social Security benefit amounts as of October 2012 were provided earlier this week.  

Early in 2012, I posted that the maximum Social Security retirement amount payable to a person retiring in 2012 at full retirement age  (FRA) was $2,513 per month. The interest it received surprised me. 

Today I am providing the maximum Social Security retirement monthly amount to a person retiring at FRA in 2013. Full retirement age is 66 for people born in 1943 – 1954. Learn your FRA here

The maximum monthly Social Security retirement amount changes each year. The 2013 maximum is more than the 2012 maximum, but will be less than the 2014 amount. Several reasons are responsible for this with a major one being that different years of earnings become available to include in the retirement calculation.  

A person’s best 35 years of earnings are used to compute their full retirement age (FRA) amount. With each new calendar year, a year of potentially higher earnings becomes available for use in computing the FRA amount. Not only might actual earnings be higher, but, depending on the maximum taxable base for that year, more of the earnings could be credited for use in the Social Security computation.

So, if starting SSA retirement in 2013, exactly at full retirement age, without any decrease or increase for earlier or later starting of benefits, and if you earned at least the maximum SSA taxable earnings (the taxable base), in each of the 35 years used in your benefit calculation, then the highest 2013 Social Security retirement amount is $2,533 per month. 

Knowing the highest 2013 Social Security retirement amount is interesting. Estimating your own retirement amount is more useful. Do so with the SSA Retirement Planner tools, especially the Retirement Estimator.  

The Retirement Estimator provides an estimate based on your actual Social Security earnings record at different ages. In addition, use the Estimator to obtain other estimates for different retirement ages and various annual employment earnings amounts. Other SSA online calculators are available for you too. 

Want to see your SSA earnings record? Your online Social Security Statement provides a list of your lifetime earnings, plus family estimates for SSA retirement, survivors and disability benefits.

 

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