Office of the Chief Actuary

Automatic Determinations

For detailed information on the average wage data for any year, including a distribution by wage level, select a year and click "Go."


In keeping with the legal term "national average wage index," we often loosely refer to the basis for the index as average wages. To be more precise, however, the index is based on compensation (wages, tips, and the like) subject to Federal income taxes, as reported by employers on Form W-2.

Beginning with the AWI for 1991, compensation includes contributions to deferred compensation plans, but excludes certain distributions from plans where the distributions are included in the reported compensation subject to income taxes. We call the result of including contributions, and excluding certain distributions, net compensation.