Updating the Social Security Benefit Calculator

Updating the Calculator

You can keep the benefit calculator up-to-date by adding the annually announced automatic changes to the benefit increases and wage-related amounts. Those figures are updated annually in mid October.

If you prefer, you can download the new version of the calculator with the new amounts built in (normally available in November). It is usually preferable to download the new version of the calculator (currently 2015.2), because in addition to the automatic changes, it has enhancements to the user interface and/or the calculations.

The 2014 update

The Social Security automatic cost-of-living adjustment for December 2014 and the wage-indexed amounts for 2015 were announced on October 22, 2014. More information on these automatic adjustments is available.

The 2014.1 or 2014.2 versions of the Social Security Benefit Calculator can be updated to include the newly announced amounts. The amounts required for updating the 2014 versions of the Social Security Benefit Calculator are as follows:

  • Cost-of-living adjustment for December 2014: 1.7 percent
  • National average wage index for 2013: $44,888.16
  • Contribution and benefit base for 2015: $118,500
  • "Old-law" contribution and benefit base for 2015: $88,200

To update a 2014 version of the calculator, choose Properties from the main menu, then Historical Amounts, then Update. If the dialog box that appears requests amounts for 2015, enter the above amounts. If it requests amounts for 2016 or later, then the amounts for 2015 computations have already been entered. In that case, press Cancel, then choose Properties, Historical Amounts, and Modify. In the dialog box that appears, press Next Year or Previous Year until it requests amounts for 2015 computations. Then enter the above amounts.

When you are ready to use the newly entered amounts, choose Properties from the main menu, then Computation Year. In the dialog box that appears, enter 2015.

The calculator will now produce 2015-style estimates, except that the stored assumptions (from the 2014 or older Trustees Report) will not be updated. To have a fully up-to-date calculator, you should download the new version.

Questions or comments

Questions or comments about the Detailed Calculator? Be sure to specify the "Detailed Calculator" in your message so we know to which calculator your question or comment refers.