20 CFR 225.2 - Definitions.
As used in this part:
Average Indexed Monthly Earnings means the result of dividing the total of the indexed earnings through the indexing year and the nonindexed earnings after the indexing year in the benefit computation years by the number of months in the benefit computation years. The indexing year for the Average Indexed Monthly Earnings PIA is the second year before the employee's eligibility year. Indexing of an employee's yearly earnings serves to put the earnings in proportion to the earnings level of all workers for the corresponding years, and to express the earnings in terms of a more recent dollar value. Indexed earnings are determined under section 215(b)(1) of the Social Security Act. The Average Indexed Monthly Earnings formula PIA is based on the Average Indexed Monthly Earnings amount.
Average Monthly Earnings means the average determined by dividing the acutal earnings used in computing the PIA by the total months in the benefit computation years. The Average Monthly Earnings is determined under section 215(b)(4) of the Social Security Act. The Average Monthly Earnings formula PIA is based on the Average Monthly Earnings amount.
Base Years means the years after 1950 (or 1936, if applicable) and up to the year in which the employee dies or is entitled to an annuity based on retirement or disability. When the employee's death occurs before he or she reaches retirement age as defined in section 216(l) of the Social Security Act, the Base Years include the year of the employee's death. Base Years are defined in sections 215(b)(2)(B)(ii) and 215(d) of the Social Security Act.
Benefit Computation Years means the years with the highest earnings used in computing the Average Indexed Monthly Earnings or Average Monthly Earnings. The number of Benefit Computation Years is determined in accordance with section 215(b)(2)(B)(i) of the Social Security Act and is based on the employee's age or when the employee becomes disabled or dies.
Earnings means compensation creditable under the Railroad Retirement Act (other than compensation attributable to years of service prior to 1937) or “wages” creditable under the Social Security Act or both.
Eligible means that a person meets the necessary requirements and could qualify for payment if a valid application were filed.
Eligibility Year means the earliest of: the employee's year of attainment of age 62; The year of disability onset; or the year of death. The Eligibility Year determines the formula used to compute a Primary Insurance Amount. Eligibility Year is defined in section 215(a) of the Social Security Act.
Employee means any person who is working or has worked for a railroad employer who is eligible for a retirement annuity or on whose account a survivor is eligible for a survivor annuity, as explained in part 216 of this chapter. For a detailed discussion of Employees under the Railroad Retirement Act, see part 203 of this chapter.
Entitled means that a person meets the necessary requirements, files a valid application and establishes his or her right to payment.
Indexed Earnings means the employee's yearly earnings for the years after 1950 that have been adjusted to put the earnings in proportion to the earnings level of all workers for each of those years and to express the earnings in terms of a more recent dollar amount.
Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) means the result obtained by applying one of three formulas in the Social Security Act to the employee's earnings as prescribed under that Act. A PIA can be based on the Average Indexed Monthly Earnings formula, the Average Monthly Earnings formula or, in the case of the Special Minimum PIA, on a special formula based on years of coverage. Averaging earnings and PIA formulas are prescribed in section 215 of the Social Security Act.
Year of service means 12 months of railroad service credited in accordance with part 210 of this chapter.
Years of coverage means years after 1936 as defined in section 215(a)(1)(C)(ii) of the Social Security Act in which the employee had earnings over certain specified amounts. Years of Coverage is primarily a factor in determining the Special Minimum formula PIA amount.