Social Security Eligibility, Benefit Levels, and Replacement Rates in the HRS

Published: 2005
Project ID: UM05-01


Social Security reform proposals are often presented in terms of their differential impacts on hypothetical workers with a range of lifetime earnings. Our work will explore how different concepts of replacement rates influence benefit outcomes, and how these are in turn associated with reported retiree well being. We will use the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to evaluate how Social Security benefits and replacement rates under program rules differ for actual versus hypothetical earning profiles, and to examine whether these findings are sensitive to alternative definitions of replacement rates.