The National Average Wage is used to index past covered earnings when determining your highest 35 years of earnings.
Our software compounds the intermediate real wage growth assumptions from the latest Social Security Trustees’ Report with your assumed inflation rate on the Settings screen to project future nominal National Average Wages.
The closest, but not exactly the same, AnyPIA assumptions are for no benefit increase beginning with the current year increase and the latest Trustees' Report Alternative II National Average Wage increase. These assumptions use the same real wage growth from the Trustees' report as our software, but compound it with the Trustees' intermediate inflation rate assumptions to project future nominal National Average Wages and they cause the Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) to be reported in real current year dollars.
Because our software and AnyPIA use different inflation assumptions they, in general, estimate different future nominal National Average Wages, which means that the indexed earnings differ, which, in turn, means the PIAs will also differ. Changing your assumed inflation rate changes the projected future nominal National Average Wages.
You can see your PIA in the Household Details – Annual What-If Benefits table by setting your what-if scenario retirement benefit filing date to your full retirement age.