How to Calculate Retirement Benefit Amounts

Retirement benefits are based on several different criterion, including years worked and average monthly employment earnings. If you want to calculate your retirement benefit amount, the simplest way to do so is to use either the worksheet or retirement estimator that Social Security provides on their website. The worksheet is ideal for those who have already reached retirement age, while the estimator is ideal for anyone who has earned enough credits to qualify for benefits, but is not yet at retirement age.

Retirement Benefit Worksheet

Step 1

Go to the Social Security Administration's Online Worksheet page. Scroll down the page and click on "Estimating your Social Security retirement benefit" on the left-hand side of the page. The worksheet displayed is the appropriate sheet for the most recent retirees.

Step 2

Switch to a different birth year by clicking the "Other years" tab below the worksheet. The Social Security website keeps approximately a dozen years of past worksheets on the site at a time.

Step 3

Fill in the worksheet according to the directions listed in each step. Carry the data you have entered down into the provided graph as directed, multiply your entries by the index factors listed by year, and the result shows your retirement benefit amount by retirement year.

Retirement Estimator

Step 1

Open the Social Security Administration's Retirement Estimator page. Click the "Retirement Estimator" link on the first page to get into the system and agree to the terms of service.

Step 2

Enter all of the requested information into the retirement estimator. First name, social security number, date and place of birth and mother's maiden name are all required. With this information, the estimator accesses your actual retirement account, giving you the most accurate information possible.

Step 3

Click the "Continue" button and you are taken to a new page. A detailed list of your retirement benefits by age is provided.


Once you have worked enough to be eligible for retirement benefits, the Social Security Administration sends out a yearly statement regarding your benefits that includes your estimated benefit amount.


Numerous things can affect the amount of your social security benefit by retirement age, so an estimate is only that, an estimate of your earnings and should not be used for planning purposes.

references & resources