§ 404.284. Recomputations for people who reach age 62, or become disabled, or die before age 62 after 1978.

(a) General. Years of your earnings after 1978 not used in the computation of your primary insurance amount (or in earlier recomputations) under the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method may be substituted for earlier years of your indexed earnings in a recomputation, but only under the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method. See § 404.288 for the rules on recomputing when you are entitled to a monthly pension based on noncovered employment.

(b) Substituting actual dollar amounts in earnings for earlier years of indexed earnings. When we recompute your primary insurance amount under the average-indexed-monthly earnings method, we use actual dollar amounts, i.e., no indexing, for earnings not included in the initial computation or earlier recomputation. These later earnings are substituted for earlier years of indexed or actual earnings that are lower.

(c) Benefit formula used in recomputation. The formula that was used in the first computation of your primary insurance amount is also used in recomputations of your primary insurance amount.

(d) Your recomputed primary insurance amount. We recompute your primary insurance amount by applying the benefit formula to your average indexed monthly earnings as revised to include additional earnings. See § 404.281. We then increase the recomputed PIA by the amounts of any automatic cost-of-living or ad hoc increases in primary insurance amounts that have become effective since you reached age 62, or became disabled or died before age 62.

(e) Minimum increase in primary insurance amounts. Your primary insurance amount may not be recomputed unless doing so would increase it by at least $1.

Example 1.  Ms. A, whose primary insurance amount we computed to be $432.40 in June 1979 in §§ 404.210 through 404.212 (based on average indexed monthly earnings of $903), had earnings of $11,000 in 1979 which were not used in the initial computation of her primary insurance amount. We may recompute her primary insurance amount effective for January 1980. In this recomputation, her 1979 earnings may be substituted in their actual dollar amount for the lowest year of her indexed earnings that was used in the initial computation. In Ms. A's case, we substitute the $11,000 for her 1966 indexed earnings of $8,911.36. Her total indexed earnings are now $251,470.05 and her new average indexed monthly earnings are $911. We apply to Ms. A's new average indexed monthly earnings the same benefit formula we used in the initial computation. Doing so produces an amount of $396.00. An automatic cost-of-living increase of 9.9 percent was effective in June 1979. We increase the $396.00 amount by 9.9 percent to find Ms. A's recomputed primary insurance amount of $435.30. Later we increased the primary insurance amount to $497.60 to reflect the 14.3 percent cost-of-living increase beginning June 1980 and to $553.40 to reflect the 11.2 percent cost-of-living increase beginning June 1981.

Example 2.  Mr. B, whose primary insurance amount we computed to be $429.20 (based on average monthly wages of $502) in June 1978 in §§ 404.220 through 404.222, had earnings of $12,000 in 1978 which were not used in the initial computation of his primary insurance amount. We may recompute his primary insurance amount effective for January 1979. In this recomputation, his 1978 earnings are substituted for the lowest year of earnings used in the initial computation ($2,700 in 1952). Mr. B's total earnings are now $142,000 and his new average monthly wage is $537. We next find Mr. B's new average monthly wage in column III of the December 1978 benefit table in appendix III. Reading across, we find his recomputed primary insurance amount on the same line in column IV, which is $407.70. We then apply the 9.9 percent, the 14.3 percent and the 11.2 percent automatic cost-of-living increases for June 1979, June 1980, and June 1981, respectively, to compute Mr. B's primary insurance amount of $569.60.

(f) Guaranteed alternatives. We may recompute your primary insurance amount by any of the following methods for which you qualify, if doing so would result in a higher amount than the one computed under the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method. Earnings in or after the year you reach age 62 cannot be used.

(1) If you reached age 62 after 1978 and before 1984, we may recompute to include earnings for years before the year you reached age 62 by using the guaranteed alternative (§ 404.231). We will increase the result by any cost-of-living or ad hoc increases in the primary insurance amounts that have become effective in and after the year you reached age 62.

(2) We will also recompute under the old-start guarantee (§ 404.242) and the prior-disability guarantee (§ 404.252) if you meet the requirements of either or both these methods.

[47 FR 30734, July 15, 1982, as amended at 52 FR 47918, Dec. 17, 1987]