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Impact of Reduced Earnings Levels in 2020 on Social Security Benefits

With unemployment rates nationwide hitting record levels with the pandemic, and with what is proving to be a sustained level of high unemployment and worker furlough situations, many future retirees are understandably concerned about the impact on their future Social Security benefits. In a post on, contributor Laurence Kotlikoff addresses this concern with a quick review of the process through which retirement benefits are calculated, noting that the basis for calculating the base benefit amount (known as your Primary Insurance Amount or PIA) is based on indexed (inflation-adjusted) earnings over a 35-year period. As Kotlikoff points out in his post, the calculation takes the highest 35 of the years in one’s reported earnings and averages them, so it’s unlikely that lower earnings in a single year would have a substantial impact on benefits. Check out his article here…


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