Bar chart shows percentage of couples eligible for Social Security Spousal Benefits by claimant age and couple type. Age 45-54 Age 55-64 Age 65+ Hetero married 46.1 53.5 52 Same-sex married male 36.2 47.8 45.5 Same-sex married female 37.9 46.3 51.8

To have and to hold: Researchers investigate how same-sex marriage might affect Social Security spousal benefits

June 26 marks the third anniversary of nationwide, legal same-sex marriage. The estimated 4 percent of the U.S. population that is lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) can now benefit from the same legal status as married heterosexuals with all that…

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Are lifetime earnings a product of the times? Veterans who entered the civilian market in periods of high unemployment have lower earnings for over a decade, have lower levels of prospective Social Security wealth, and appear to delay retirement (perhaps to compensate for the negative effects experienced early in their careers), and have higher levels of family instability. These results suggest that young workers who entered the labor market during the Great Recession are likely to experience negative effects throughout the first phases of their career; indeed, some of the effects could influence today’s workers through retirement.

Tough timing: Study looks at veterans to pin down the long-term effects of entering the labor market during a recession

Previous research has found that young people entering the job market during a weak economy face lingering negative effects, earning less than workers who joined the labor market during, for example, a period of low unemployment. Such effects can last…

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MRRC Director John Laitner recaps the spring workshop

The Michigan Retirement Research Center held its annual researcher workshop on March 23 and 24, 2018. As in recent years, we used space at the Ross School of Business, at the University of Michigan. This workshop has only plenary sessions…

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Payroll Taxes

Reprise for Tax Day: Labor supply and payroll taxes With policymakers proposing payroll tax reform with a view to promote the solvency of Social Security and Medicare, the research community has turned to examining whether changes to payroll taxes alone…

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MRRC Director John Laitner previews 2017 key findings

The 2018 Winter Newsletter includes brief summaries of findings from a dozen new MRRC working papers. The projects illustrate two principal themes of our research effort: They make in-depth use of up-to-date data sources to test and quantify our understanding…

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More retirement planning with Mike and Mary

  In our last exciting episode, Mike and Mary decided to keep working rather than take early retirement at age 62. They realized that they were behind in their retirement savings goals and likely to live longer than average given…

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Mike and Mary face retirement decisions galore

Mary and Mike, known as “M&M” to their friends, turn 62 in 2018 — the earliest age they can retire and claim their Social Security benefits. Mike has worked full-time for 40 years, although he experienced a year of unemployment…

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