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Social Security: The Minimum Benefit Provision


Social Security has had a minimum benefit provision since 1939. Social Security's minimum benefit provision originally took the form of a floor-that is, a fixed dollar amount-below which benefits could not fall. Congress has modified this provision over the years to change its key parameters, formula, and overall goals. Under current law, Social Security's minimum benefit provision is known as the "Special Minimum Primary Insurance Amount," or "Special Minimum PIA." Congress created the Special Minimum PIA in 1972 and it became effective for new beneficiaries starting in January 1973. The Special Minimum PIA was created to answer concerns that the 1939 minimum benefit structure in the form of a "floor" provided a windfall to some persons who had a sporadic attachment to the workforce, for example, for persons with only a few years of work in Social Security-covered employment. The Special Minimum PIA may be paid to workers with more than 10 years in Social Securitycovered employment. The benefit amount paid to a retired worker is based on, and rises with, the number of years he or she worked in covered employment. The Special Minimum PIA is payable if the benefit amount is higher than the benefit computed under the regular Social Security benefit formula.


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Older Versions:

Social Security: The Minimum Benefit Provision  [Order No: R41518  Release Date: May 24,2012  Pages: 30]

Social Security: The Minimum Benefit Provision  [Order No: R41518  Release Date: Jan 03,2012  Pages: 30]

Social Security: The Minimum Benefit Provision  [Order No: R41518  Release Date: Jan 06,2011  Pages: 31]

Social Security: The Minimum Benefit Provision  [Order No: R41518  Release Date: Dec 06,2010  Pages: 31]