Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 75 No. 2

(released May 2015)
by Chris E. Anguelov, Gabriella Ravida, and Robert R. Weathers II

This article examines how changing demographics might affect the number of adult OASDI beneficiaries and SSI recipients who need a representative payee to manage their benefit payments. The authors use administrative data and projections from the Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT) model to project the number of beneficiaries who will need a representative payee, with detail by beneficiary age, program type, and type of payee. Demand for representative payees is projected to grow over the next two decades as the retired-worker population increases. Because retired-worker beneficiaries are less likely than disabled-worker beneficiaries to have a family member serve as their representative payee, the Social Security Administration will need to increase efforts to recruit and monitor nonfamily representative payees. The authors describe ongoing agency efforts to prepare for the projected growth in demand for representative payees.

by David R. Mann, Arif Mamun, and Jeffrey Hemmeter

This article examines the employment and earnings of Disability Insurance beneficiaries and working-age Supplemental Security Income recipients across detailed primary-impairment categories. The authors use 2011 data from linked Social Security administrative files to identify which beneficiaries and recipients are most likely to have earnings and to have higher levels of earnings. They find substantial heterogeneity in these outcomes across primary impairments.

by Irena Dushi, Howard M. Iams, and Jules Lichtenstein

This article provides an update of the relationship between pension plan coverage and firm size among private-sector workers, using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) for 3 years: 2006, 2009, and 2012. Following previous work, our measures of pension coverage and participation take into account, and correct for, survey-response errors in the SIPP by using information in the W-2 records regarding tax-deferred earnings to defined contribution plans. The authors' findings show that compared with 2006, the offer and participation rates of any pension plan slightly increased in 2009 and 2012. Throughout the 2006–2012 period, offer and participation rates differed substantially by firm size, whereas there was little difference in the take-up rate.

by Benjamin Bridges and Robert V. Gesumaria

In 2011, the Census Bureau released its first report on the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). The SPM addresses many criticisms of the official poverty measure, and its intent is to provide an improved statistical picture of poverty. This article examines the extent of poverty identified by the two measures. The authors present a detailed examination of poverty among nonaged adults (those aged 18–64). For a more comprehensive view of poverty and comparison purposes, some findings are presented for younger and older segments of the population.