Social Security Terms in Plain Language

August 22, 2019 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: July 16, 2021

" "Some of the terms and acronyms (an abbreviation of the first letters of words in a phrase) people use when they talk about Social Security can be a little confusing. We’re here to help you understand all you need to know.

Social Security employees strive to explain benefits using easy-to-understand, plain language. In fact, The Plain Writing Act of 2010 requires federal agencies to communicate clearly in a way “the public can understand and use.”

If a technical term or acronym that you don’t know slips into the conversation or appears in written material, you can easily find the meaning in our online glossary.

Social Security’s acronyms function as verbal shorthand in your financial planning conversations. If you’re nearing retirement, you may want to know what PIA (primary insurance amount), FRA (full retirement age), and DRCs (delayed retirement credits) mean. These terms involve your benefit amount based on when you decide to take it.

If you take your retirement benefit at FRA, you’ll receive the full PIA (amount payable for a retired worker who starts benefits at full retirement age). So, FRA is an age and PIA is an amount.

Once you receive benefits, you get a COLA most years. But don’t expect a fizzy drink — a COLA is a Cost of Living Adjustment, and that will usually mean a little extra money in your monthly payment.

What about DRCs? Delayed retirement credits are the incremental increases added to the PIA if you delay taking retirement benefits beyond your full retirement age. If you wait to begin benefits beyond FRA — say, at age 68 or even 70 — your benefit increases.

If one of those unknown terms or acronyms comes up in conversation, you can be the one to supply the definition using our online glossary. Sometimes learning the terminology can deepen your understanding of w Social Security works for you. Discover and share more on our website.

Did you find this Information helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!
See Comments

About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner


  1. orbilogin

    Getting purple light on Orbi? Or orbi showing pink LED? If yes, the then there is some technical issue that need to be resolve. Find guide to fix orbi purple light or magenta LED on orbi error.

  2. orbilogin

    Thanks for informative article. Much appreciate.

    If facing any trouble in accessing orbi login page refer guide:

  3. Mark J.

    Good job, social security is important
    Nice idea

  4. Jeanette T.

    Arlo signs in, with the best home security camera, which helps you to provide the full security to you anytime. For any versions of the Arlo pro login, the technical help is there.

  5. dlinkrouterlocal

    dlinkrouter.local login d-linkrouterlocal setup. To set up Dlink router or login dlinkrouterlocal

  6. Jeanette T.

    Nest login is done by various people, to make their home safe and secure. It has all the best features, which is enough to keep the house protected, in fact not only the house but also the loved ones and the other premises. Nest Camera login is not tough with the expert’s help

  7. CoolGospel

    Thanks CoolGospel

  8. David

    Thanks for the information. I’ve definitely pick up something new from right here.

    Hiphop Music Download

  9. John

    This is awesomeLatest Mp3 Music Download

    • David S.

      Thanks for the information. I’ve definitely pick up something new from right here.

      Hiphop Music Download

  10. Nick J.

    Arlo PC App, everybody wants to make the camera in such a way that it can take all the images and the videos in very good resolutions and high-quality pixels. It was only monitored through smartphones, but afterward, the camera was monitored with the computer and the laptops, and new ideas were discovered to download the Arlo App For PC, in any of the laptop or the computer. We are here to guide you at each of the steps. Call us anytime, and get instant help.

Comments are closed.