Is the Adjustment of Social Security Benefits Actuarially Fair, and If So, for Whom?

Disparities in Social Security claim ages have risen since the early 1990s. With high earners increasingly likely to delay claiming, and also living longer on average than lower earners, late claimants may differ in critical ways from early claimants. Using…

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Underfunded Public Sector Pension Plans, Social Security Participation, and the Retirement Decisions of Public Employees

I analyze the effects of public pension parameters, Social Security coverage, and state pension fund sustainability on the retirement of public employees. I use data from the Health and Retirement Study, including personal early and normal retirement eligibility and state…

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Public Pension Design and Household Retirement Decisions: A Comparison of the United States and Germany

Social Security provides retirement benefits to age-eligible workers and their spouses. Benefits are permanently increased if initial receipt is delayed. For benefits paid to spouses, these incentives reflect a complex interaction of the worker’s and spouse’s earnings histories, benefit claiming…

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The Impact of Growing Health and Mortality Inequalities on Lifetime Social Security Payouts

The prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and other health problems has increased in recent decades in the United States, and there is a growing gap between the health and longevity of individuals with high socioeconomic status (SES) and low SES. These…

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Which Households Benefit from Delayed Claiming?

Using administrative data, this project will quantify the incentive effects and equity of the Social Security survivor benefit. The project will first analyze incentive effects on the timing of initial claiming of retired-worker benefits by both spouses. The survivor benefit…

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Is the Adjustment of Benefits Actuarially Fair?

Adjustments to benefits for individuals who delay claiming are designed to reward work and ensure equitable treatment between those who delay and those who claim early. Over the past 20 years, Social Security claiming ages have increased and become more…

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