ObliviousInvestor wrote: ↑Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:45 pm

So if your brother in law was born in 1962, he turned 22 in 1984. He died in 2011, which means the elapsed years is 27. We subtract 5 from the elapsed years in this case. So his AIME will be calculated using his best 22 years of earnings.

And paragraph (d) of 404.211 tells us about indexing. It's huge, so I'm not going to copy/paste. Just go read it.

There's a possible exception in (d)(4). Basically, if it allows for a higher widow's benefit, his indexing year could be later.

Finally got through § 404.211, § 404.212 and appendix II of the references you gave. Makes sense, for the most part. Here is the relevant data and my interpretation of the process.

Deceased spouse: born 1962, died 2011

Surviving spouse: born 1963, reaches age 60 in 2023

This situation yields the following relevant benefit calculation parameters:

Computation base years: 1984-2011 [based on § 404.211 (b)(2)]

Elapsed years: 28 years [based on § 404.211 (e)(1)]

Benefit computation years: 23 years [based on § 404.211 (e)(2)]

Normal Indexing and Benefit Formula years (Case A):

Indexing year: 2009 [based on § 404.211 (d)(1)(ii)]

Benefit formula year: 2011 [based on § 404.212 (b)(1)]

An alternative approach to determining the Indexing and Benefit Formula years is also available (Case B):

Indexing year: 2021 [based on § 404.211 (d)(4)(ii)]

Benefit formula year: 2023 [based on § 404.212 (b)(1) ref. § 404.211 (d)(4)(ii)]

There are two benefit calculations to be done (Case A & Case B). The benefit calculation yielding the higher benefit is the one that will be received by the surviving spouse.

Case A: Calculate indexed wages for the elapsed years / computation base years using the indexing year 2009. Identify the benefit computation years (highest 23 years indexed wage values). Calculate the AIME by adding benefit computation years indexed wages and dividing by 276 (23 years x 12 months/year). Calculate the benefit using the benefit formula (bend points) for the year 2011.

Case B: Calculate indexed wages for the elapsed years / computation base years using the indexing year 2021. Identify the benefit computation years (highest 23 years indexed wage values). Calculate the AIME by adding benefit computation years indexed wages and dividing by 276 (23 years x 12 months/year). Calculate the benefit using the benefit formula (bend points) for the year 2023.

Case A is straight forward, wage indexing and benefit formula parameters (bend points) are readily available for 2009 and 2011 respectively. Case B is more problematic. While wage indexing is available for the year 2021, the benefit formula parameters (bend points) are not, and increasing the bend points using the percentages from the wage indexing table (as described in § 404.212 (b)(2)) doesn’t give results consistent for previous years bend point adjustments.

FiveK wrote: ↑Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:37 am

Yes, dense reading, but perhaps relatively simple calculations as a result.

If you want to do your own calculation but don't already have a spreadsheet, the 'SocialSecurity' tab of the

personal finance toolbox spreadsheet may give you a running start.

I

**think** that will give you what you seek in cell D112, but wouldn't blame you at all for verifying that on your own.

Agree, the calculation is straight forward, once you have the correct input data.

I did run the social security tab of the personal tool box spreadsheet. Made the modifications you suggested and found I also needed to change the year of eligibility in C103 to be able to get the correct bend points for the benefit calculation formula. After some minor tweaking to fix the way the AIME and Benefit Calculation rounding was done on the social security tab, our spreadsheets get identical results ... to the penny! (Well, the nearest $0.10 anyway!)

"Re-verify our range to target ... one ping only."