Automatic Determinations

The tables below provide Social Security program amounts that are automatically adjusted each year according to formulas in the Social Security Act. Column headings link to more detail.

Social Security program amounts determined under automatic adjustment provisions, 2012-2022
Year COLA
(percent)
Average
wage index
Contribution and
benefit base
Retirement earnings test
annual exempt amounts
Lower amount Higher amount
2012 1.7 44,321.67 $110,100 $14,640$38,880
2013 1.5 44,888.16 113,700 15,12040,080
2014 1.7 46,481.52 117,000 15,48041,400
2015 0.0 48,098.63 118,500 15,72041,880
2016 0.3 48,642.15 118,500 15,72041,880
2017 2.0 50,321.89 127,200 16,92044,880
2018 2.8 52,145.80 128,400 17,04045,360
2019 1.6 54,099.99 132,900 17,64046,920
2020 1.3 55,628.60 137,700 18,24048,600
2021 5.9 142,800 18,96050,520
2022 147,000 19,56051,960

Year Dollar amounts in PIA formula Dollar amounts in maximum family benefit formula
First Second First Second Third
2012 $767 $4,624 $980 $1,415 $1,845
2013 791 4,768 1,011 1,459 1,903
2014 816 4,917 1,042 1,505 1,962
2015 826 4,980 1,056 1,524 1,987
2016 856 5,157 1,093 1,578 2,058
2017 885 5,336 1,131 1,633 2,130
2018 895 5,397 1,144 1,651 2,154
2019 926 5,583 1,184 1,708 2,228
2020 960 5,785 1,226 1,770 2,309
2021 996 6,002 1,272 1,837 2,395
2022 1,024 6,172 1,308 1,889 2,463

Year "Old-law" contribution and benefit base Earnings needed for a quarter of coverage (or "credit") Monthly substantial gainful activity amount for … Coverage thresholds for …
Blind Other
disabled
Domestic
employees
Election
workers
2012 $81,900 $1,130 $1,690 $1,010 $1,800 $1,500
2013 84,300 1,160 1,740 1,040 1,800 1,600
2014 87,000 1,200 1,800 1,070 1,900 1,600
2015 88,200 1,220 1,820 1,090 1,900 1,600
2016 88,200 1,260 1,820 1,130 2,000 1,700
2017 94,500 1,300 1,950 1,170 2,000 1,800
2018 95,400 1,320 1,970 1,180 2,100 1,800
2019 98,700 1,360 2,040 1,220 2,100 1,800
2020 102,300 1,410 2,110 1,260 2,200 1,900
2021 106,200 1,470 2,190 1,310 2,300 2,000
2022 109,200 1,510 2,260 1,350 2,400 2,000
    Notes:
  • Automatic cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for OASDI benefits are effective for December of the stated year, first payable in the following January. For SSI, the COLAs are also payable the following January. See table of SSI payment amounts for values back to 1975.
  • The contribution and benefit base is the maximum amount of earnings taxable and creditable for benefit computation purposes.
  • The retirement test does not apply to beneficiaries over the normal retirement age. The higher exempt amount applies only in the year the worker attains the normal retirement age, and then only for months in that year prior to the month of such attainment. The lower exempt amount applies in years prior to the year the beneficiary attains the normal retirement age.
  • The "old-law" contribution and benefit base is the base that would have been in effect in the absence of the 1977 amendments. It has special purposes under the Social Security program, the Railroad Retirement program, and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.