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Caring For Generations

Know Your FRA, EEA, and PIA Numbers

by | May 15, 2024 | advisors, elder care, estate and tax planning, Estate Planning

In our work as Indiana estate planning attorneys, we’ve found that a good part of our discussions with clients centers around numbers. Whether related to tax brackets, division of assets, or gift planning, numbers seem to be at the core of the decision-making process. And, when it comes to elder law and special needs planning, asset and income numbers help determine eligibility for government benefits,

As of January 1, 2024, some of the key numbers relating to social security benefits have changed, so it’s particularly important to know three specific pieces of information relating to retirement benefits:

FRA (Full Retirement Age)
Yes, you can still start receiving benefits as early as age 62, but to be eligible for full benefits, you must reach full retirement age (FRA), which is determined by your birth year, Yahoo Finance explains. For most people, the FRA is 67. The reward for waiting beyond the FRA will increase as well, in that benefits may now be delayed up until age 72 (rather than 70).

PIA (Primary Insurance Amount)
When an individual elects to begin benefits at FRA, the PIA is the benefit they will receive monthly. “At this age, the benefit is neither reduced for early retirement nor increased for delayed retirement,” the Social Security Administration explains. The PIA is actually the sum of three separate percentages of a person’s average indexed monthly earnings. (AIME is calculated by taking up to 35 years of the highest earnings over the person’s life and dividing them by the total number of months in each year. For someone who first becomes eligible this year, the PIA will be the sum of three numbers:

  • 90% of the first $1,174 of average indexed monthly earnings (AIME)
  • 32% of average indexed monthly earnings over $1,176 up through $7,078
  • 15% of average indexed monthly earnings over $7,078

EEA (Earliest  Eligibility Age)
The one number that  was  not changed in 2024 is the EEA, which remains at  62.

“Understanding how the Social Security program works will help in your retirement decision making,” John explains. At Geyer Law,, we know that understanding the numbers related to Social Security benefits is important for estate and gift planning as well.

– by Cara Chittenden of Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates