Explaining the Growth in Social Security Benefits among the Retirement Age Population

Published: 2010
Project ID: UM10-21


Social Security wealth represents almost one-third of the total wealth of the Health and Retirement Study’s (early boomer) cohort aged 51 to 56 in 2004. It grew by over 50 percent in real terms over the period 1992 to 2004. This project will explore HRS cohort data to determine the reasons for the growth in real Social Security wealth over this period, including the effects of the increase in the cap on covered earnings and different earnings trends for women and men. Distributional patterns will be examined and implications for policies that would change the earnings cap derived.