Automatic Determinations

Retirement test exempt amounts

Wage-indexed amounts

Determination of the Exempt Amounts for 2021
Ordinarily the exempt amounts are determined according to formulas set by law. The formulas are applicable only if a cost-of-living increase becomes effective for December of the year in which a determination of the exempt amounts would ordinarily be made. Because there is a cost-of-living increase for December 2020, the exempt amounts for 2021 are computed according to the statutory formulas.

Determination of the Lower Exempt Amount for 2021
The monthly exempt amount for 2021 is determined to be the larger of:

  • the 1994 monthly exempt amount multiplied by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2019 to that for 1992, or
  • the 2020 monthly exempt amount of $1,520.
If the amount so determined is not a multiple of $10, we round it to the nearest multiple of $10. The annual exempt amount is then 12 times the rounded monthly exempt amount.

Calculation details for lower monthly exempt amount
Amounts in
formula
1994 monthly exempt amount$670
1992 average wage index22,935.42
2019 average wage index54,099.99
Computation$670 times (54,099.99 divided by 22,935.42) equals $1,580.39, which rounds to $1,580
Higher amount$1,580 exceeds the monthly exempt amount for 2020, so the monthly exempt amount for 2021 is $1,580

The annual exempt amount for 2021 is 12 times the monthly amount $1,580, or $18,960.


Determination of the Higher Exempt Amount for 2021
The monthly exempt amount for 2021 is determined to be the larger of:

  • the 2002 monthly exempt amount multiplied by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2019 to that for 2000, or
  • the 2020 monthly exempt amount of $4,050.
If the amount so determined is not a multiple of $10, we round it to the nearest multiple of $10. The annual exempt amount is then 12 times the rounded monthly exempt amount.

Calculation details for higher monthly exempt amount
Amounts in
formula
2002 monthly exempt amount $2,500
2000 average wage index32,154.82
2019 average wage index54,099.99
Computation$2,500 times (54,099.99 divided by 32,154.82) equals $4,206.21, which rounds to $4,210
Higher amount $4,210 exceeds the monthly exempt amount for 2020, so the monthly exempt amount for 2021 is $4,210

The annual exempt amount for 2021 is 12 times the monthly amount $4,210, or $50,520.