Retirement (includes OASI)

Beneficiaries

All Beneficiaries
Immigrants and Retirement Resources
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 74 No. 1 (released February 2014)
by Purvi Sevak and Lucie Schmidt

In this article, the authors use the Health and Retirement Study to compare retirement resources of the foreign born with those of the native born. They find that immigrants have significantly lower Social Security benefit levels than natives; however, after controlling for demographic characteristics immigrants have higher levels of net worth. The immigrant/native differential in retirement resources varies systematically by number of years in the United States.

African Americans: Description of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income Participation and Benefit Levels Using the American Community Survey
Research and Statistics Note No. 2014-01 (released January 2014)
by Patricia P. Martin and John L. Murphy

The authors use American Community Survey (ACS) data to compare Social Security and Supplemental Security Income program participation and benefit levels of African Americans with those of the general population. The ACS data show that African Americans are more likely to be Supplemental Security Income recipients, and less likely to be Social Security beneficiaries. Higher rates of poverty, disability, and mortality among African Americans mean that they are also more likely to rely on Social Security survivor and disability benefits than are other beneficiaries.

The Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) and the Aged: How and Why the SPM and Official Poverty Estimates Differ
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 4 (released November 2013)
by Benjamin Bridges and Robert V. Gesumaria

In November 2011, the Census Bureau released its first report on the Supplemental Poverty Measure. The SPM addresses many criticisms of the official poverty measure and is intended to provide an improved statistical picture of poverty. This article examines the extent of poverty identified by the two measures. First, we look at how the SPM and official estimates differ for various aged and nonaged groups. Then, we look at why the SPM poverty rate for the aged is much higher than the official rate.

An Overview of American Indians and Alaska Natives in the Context of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 4 (released November 2012)
by Nolan Smith-Kaprosy, Patricia P. Martin, and Kevin Whitman

The American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) population is understudied in a variety of policy contexts. This article compares AIAN socioeconomic characteristics with those of the total population, focusing on patterns of adult Social Security benefit and Supplemental Security Income receipt. The analysis takes advantage of the relatively large AIAN sample size provided by the 2005–2009 American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample.

The Growth in Social Security Benefits Among the Retirement-Age Population from Increases in the Cap on Covered Earnings
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 2 (released May 2012)
by Alan L. Gustman, Thomas L. Steinmeier, and Nahid Tabatabai

This article investigates how raising the maximum level of earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax leads to the "leakage" of portions of the additional revenue into higher benefit payments. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, the authors simulate the effects of changes in maximum taxable earnings for cohorts approaching retirement age over a 24-year period. They find, roughly, that almost half of the additional tax revenue from having raised the maximum earnings subject to the payroll tax has leaked into higher benefits.

The Sensitivity of Proposed Social Security Benefit Formula Changes to Lifetime Earnings Definitions
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 2 (released May 2012)
by Hilary Waldron

Several Social Security proposals have included benefit formula changes that apply to earners above a specified percentage of the combined male and female (unisex) lifetime earnings distribution. This study finds that if Social Security's median unisex average indexed monthly earnings (AIME) amount is used to define an earnings threshold below which benefits will be held unreduced, the percentage of fully insured men subject to benefit reductions (70 percent) will exceed the unisex estimate of the population subject to benefit reductions (50 percent) by 20 percentage points. If policymakers wish to adjust future benefits and focus benefit reductions on middle or high primary or full-time wage earners in a household, the male, rather than unisex, AIME would come closer to achieving such a goal.

This Is Not Your Parents' Retirement: Comparing Retirement Income Across Generations
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 1 (released February 2012)
by Barbara A. Butrica, Karen E. Smith, and Howard M. Iams

This article examines how retirement income at age 67 is likely to change for baby boomers and generation Xers compared with current retirees. The authors use the Modeling Income in the Near Term model to project retirement income, assets, poverty rates, and replacement rates for current and future retirees at age 67. In absolute terms, retirement incomes of future cohorts will increase over time, and poverty rates will fall. However, projected income gains are larger for high than for low socioeconomic groups, leading to increased income inequality among future retirees.

Military Veterans and Social Security: 2010 Update
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 2 (released May 2011)
by Anya Olsen and Samantha O'Leary

More than one 1 of 5 adult Social Security beneficiaries has served in the military, and veterans and their families comprise 35 percent of the beneficiary population. Using data from the March 2010 Current Population Survey (CPS), this article presents the sociodemographic characteristics of the veteran beneficiary and the total veteran populations. The article draws comparisons with findings from the March 2000 CPS and the March 2004 CPS, and describes trends in the size and demographic makeup of the veteran population using data from the Department of Veterans Affairs' VetPop2007 projection model.

Next Generation of Individual Account Pension Reforms in Latin America
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 1 (released February 2011)
by Barbara E. Kritzer, Stephen J. Kay, and Tapen Sinha

This article examines the recent reforms in individual account systems in Latin America, with a focus on the recent overhaul of the Chilean system and major reforms in Mexico, Peru, and Colombia. The authors analyze key elements of pension reform in the region relating to individual accounts: system coverage, fees, competition, investment, the impact of gender on benefits, financial education, voluntary savings, and payouts.

Retiring in Debt? An Update on the 2007 Near-Retiree Cohort
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 70 No. 4 (released November 2010)
by Chris E. Anguelov and Christopher R. Tamborini

This research note uses 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) data to update work reported in an earlier article, "Retiring in Debt? Differences between the 1995 and 2004 Near-Retiree Cohorts." The analysis documents whether there have been changes in the debt holdings of near-retirees in 2007, a point in time reflecting the start of the recent financial and economic crisis, relative to 2004. Results show that near-retirees' debt levels in 2007 were modestly higher than in 2004, overall and across a number of subgroups. The results do not capture the full impact of the financial crisis, which manifested at the end of 2007 and in 2008.

An Empirical Study of the Effects of Social Security Reforms on Benefit Claiming Behavior and Receipt Using Public-Use Administrative Microdata
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 3 (released October 2009)
by Hugo Benítez-Silva and Na Yin

In the past few years, the Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance benefit system in the United States has undergone some of the most significant changes since its inception. Using the public-use microdata extract from the Master Beneficiary Record, we are able to uncover a number of interesting trends in benefit claiming behavior and level of benefit receipt, which can help us understand how the changes in the system are shaping the retirement benefit claiming behavior of older Americans.

Distributional Effects of Raising the Social Security Taxable Maximum
Policy Brief No. 2009-01 (released July 2009)
by Kevin Whitman

As of 2009, Social Security's Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program limits the amount of annual earnings subject to taxation at $106,800, and this value generally increases annually based on changes in the national average wage index. This brief uses Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT) projections to compare the distributional effects of four options for raising the maximum taxable earnings amount beyond its scheduled levels. Two of the options would raise this value so that it covers 90 percent of all covered earnings and two would remove the maximum completely. Within each set of options, the proposals are differentiated by whether the new taxable amounts are used in computing benefits. Most workers would not be affected by these proposals, but some higher earners would experience a substantial increase in taxes. Correspondingly, benefit increases are largely isolated to higher earners, although the return in benefits for taxes paid would also decline. Because the proposals are targeted toward high earners, Social Security's progressivity would increase.

A Legislative History of the Social Security Protection Act of 2004
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 4 (released March 2009)
by Erik Hansen

The Social Security Protection Act of 2004 (SSPA), with its administrative remedies and program protections, can be seen as another incremental step in the development of a social insurance program that best meets the evolving needs of American society. This article discusses the legislative history of the SSPA in detail. It also includes summaries of the provisions and a chronology of the modification of these proposals as they passed through the House and Senate, and ultimately to the president's desk.

Social Security Beneficiaries Affected by the Windfall Elimination Provision in 2006
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 2 (released October 2008)
by Barbara A. Lingg

The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) is a method of computing benefits for some workers who receive a pension based on non-Social Security covered work. At the end of 2006, about 970,000 beneficiaries, mainly retired workers, were affected by the WEP. This article provides a brief legislative history, describes the WEP computation, and presents statistical data about beneficiaries affected by the WEP.

Estimating the First Instance of Substantive-Covered Earnings in the Labor Market
Research and Statistics Note No. 2008-04 (released September 2008)
by Michael Compson
Women, Marriage, and Social Security Benefits Revisited
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 4 (released May 2008)
by Christopher R. Tamborini and Kevin Whitman

This article uses a Restricted-Use File of the 2001 Marital History Topical Module to the U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to examine women's marital histories in relation to Social Security spouse and widow benefit eligibility. To assess marital trends over time, the authors compare SIPP estimates to data reported in Iams and Ycas. 1988 article, "Women, Marriage and Social Security Benefits," which used the 1985 Marital History Supplement to the Current Population Survey. The results shed light on important links between sociodemographic trends in marriage and Social Security beneficiaries. Over three-fourths of women aged 40 to 69 in 2001 already had marital histories that guarantee them the option of a spouse or widow benefit at retirement. However, a smaller proportion of these women would be potentially eligible to receive spouse or widow benefits compared to their counterparts in 1985 due to changes in patterns in marriage, particularly among younger women in the baby-boom cohort. Notable shifts include rising proportions of currently divorced women without a 10-year marriage and never-married women.

Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustments and the Consumer Price Index
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 3 (released April 2008)
by Clark Burdick and T. Lynn Fisher

Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI, Social Security) benefits are indexed for inflation to protect beneficiaries from the loss of purchasing power implied by inflation. In the absence of such indexing, the purchasing power of Social Security benefits would be eroded as rising prices raised the cost of living. Recently, the Consumer Price Index used to calculate the Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA) for OASDI benefits has come under increased scrutiny. Some argue that the current index does not accurately reflect the inflation experienced by seniors and that COLAs should be larger. Others argue that the measure of inflation underlying the COLA has technical limitations that cause it to overestimate changes in the cost of living and that COLAs should be smaller. This article discusses some of the issues involved with indexing Social Security benefits for inflation and examines the ramifications of potential changes to COLA calculations.

Have People Delayed Claiming Retirement Benefits? Responses to Changes in Social Security Rules
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 2 (released February 2008)
by Jae G. Song and Joyce Manchester

Using a 1 percent sample of Social Security Administration data, this article documents and analyzes responses in the entitlement age for old-age benefits following the recent changes in Social Security rules. Both rules, the removal of the retirement earnings test (RET) for persons who are at the full retirement age (FRA) through age 69 in 2000 or later and a gradual increase in the FRA for those who reach age 62 in 2000 or later, are expected to affect the age at which people claim Social Security retirement benefits (or entitlement age) and the work behavior of older Americans.

The Never-Married in Old Age: Projections and Concerns for the Near Future
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 2 (released February 2008)
by Christopher R. Tamborini

This article focuses on a growing yet understudied subgroup of the elderly in the United States—the never-married. The first section, based on data from the Current Population Survey and a review of the academic literature, examines the current circumstances of never-married retirees, particularly their economic and health well-being. The succeeding section uses the Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT) model to assess the projected (1) changes in the marital status composition of the future retirement-age population; (2) demographics of future never-married retirees, and (3) economic well-being of never-married retirees. The results highlight important links between marital trends, Social Security, and retirement outcomes and offer insight into some of the characteristics of current and future never-married retirees.

Hispanics, Social Security, and Supplemental Security Income
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 2 (released February 2008)
by Patricia P. Martin

This article uses a relatively new data source—the American Community Survey (ACS) to document the economic and demographic characteristics of the Hispanic population in the United States. Although the article focuses on Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients, other segments of the population are also examined. The ACS data show that the Hispanic population is significantly different from the overall population, particularly with regard to age distribution, education, and economic well-being.

The Distributional Consequences of a "No-Action" Scenario: Updated Results
Policy Brief No. 2005-01 (released July 2005)

Under the Social Security program, benefits are paid to retired workers, survivors, and disabled persons out of two trust funds—the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and the Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds. In their 2005 report, the Social Security Trustees projected that the combined OASDI trust funds would be exhausted in 2041. Because the trust funds are used to pay benefits, retirement benefits would have to be reduced somewhat in 2041 and more drastically in 2042.

If no action were taken to strengthen Social Security, the benefit reductions necessitated by the exhaustion of the trust funds would double the poverty rate of Social Security beneficiaries aged 64–78 in 2042, from 1.5 percent to 3.3 percent. However, this increased poverty rate would still be lower than the current poverty rate for beneficiaries aged 62–76, which is 4.6 percent. In addition, the trust funds' exhaustion could lead to lower returns on payroll taxes using traditional "money's-worth" measures.

The Distributional Consequences of a "No-Action" Scenario
Policy Brief No. 2004-01 (released February 2004)
by Andrew G. Biggs

The 2001 report of the Social Security trustees projected that the combined trust funds for the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance programs will be exhausted in 2038. This analysis explains the effects of insolvency on future retirement benefits and poverty rates of beneficiaries if no action is taken to strengthen Social Security.

Social Security Benefit Reporting in the Survey of Income and Program Participation and in Social Security Administrative Records
ORES Working Paper No. 96 (released June 2002)
by Janice A. Olson

The quality of Social Security benefit reporting in household surveys is important for policy research on the Social Security program and, more generally, for research on the economic well-being of the aged and disabled populations. This is particularly true for the aged among whom receipt of Social Security benefits is nearly universal and reliance on such benefits is considerable. This paper examines the consistency between Social Security benefit amounts for May 1990 as reported in the Survey of Income and Program Participation and given in the Social Security Administration's administrative records for the respondent.

Social Security Beneficiaries Enrolled in the Direct Deposit Program, December 1992
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 57 No. 1 (released January 1994)
by Joseph Bondar
Earnings Replacement Rates of New Retired Workers
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 53 No. 10 (released October 1990)
by Susan Grad
Effects of Social Security Benefit Increase, December 1989
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 53 No. 4 (released April 1990)
by Joseph Bondar
Income Change at Retirement
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 53 No. 1 (released January 1990)
by Susan Grad
Effects of the Social Security Benefit Increase, December 1988
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 52 No. 6 (released June 1989)
by Joseph Bondar
The Effect of Health on Retirement
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 50 No. 2 (released February 1987)
by Frank J. Sammartino
An Overview of OASDI Revenue, Expenditures, and Beneficiaries, 1974–85
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 49 No. 6 (released June 1986)
by Christine Irick
Regional and State Patterns of Population Change and Benefit Receipt, 1980–84
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 49 No. 4 (released April 1986)
Effects of the OASDI Benefit Increase, December 1985
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 49 No. 3 (released March 1986)
by Joseph Bondar
Income of New Retired Workers by Age at First Benefit Receipt: Findings From the New Beneficiary Survey
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 48 No. 7 (released July 1985)
by Linda Drazga Maxfield
Assets of New Retired-Worker Beneficiaries: Findings From the New Beneficiary Survey
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 48 No. 7 (released July 1985)
by Sally R. Sherman
Effects of OASDI Benefit Increase, December 1984
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 48 No. 7 (released July 1985)
by Joseph Bondar
Relationship Between the Retirement, Disability, and Unemployment Insurance Programs: The U.S. Experience
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 48 No. 5 (released May 1985)
by Virginia P. Reno and Daniel N. Price
Income of New Retired Workers by Social Security Benefit Levels: Findings From the New Beneficiary Survey
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 48 No. 5 (released May 1985)
by Christine Irick
Reported Reasons Retired Workers Left Their Last Job: Findings From the New Beneficiary Survey
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 48 No. 3 (released March 1985)
by Sally R. Sherman
Characteristics of the Longest Job for New Retired Workers: Findings From the New Beneficiary Survey
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 48 No. 3 (released March 1985)
by Howard M. Iams
Health Status of New Retired-Worker Beneficiaries: Findings From the New Beneficiary Survey
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 48 No. 2 (released February 1985)
by Michael D. Packard
Distribution of Income Sources of Recent Retirees: Findings From the New Beneficiary Survey
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 48 No. 1 (released January 1985)
by Linda Drazga Maxfield and Virginia P. Reno
Income Changes At and After Social Security Benefit Receipt: Evidence From the Retirement History Study
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 47 No. 9 (released September 1984)
by Alan Fox
Changing the Method for Calculating Quarters of Coverage: The Impact on Workers' Insured Status
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 47 No. 4 (released April 1984)
by William J. Nelson, Jr.
Effects of OASDI Benefit Increase, December 1983
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 47 No. 3 (released March 1984)
by Joseph Bondar
Effects of OASDI Benefit Increase, June 1982
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 45 No. 11 (released November 1982)
by Joseph Bondar
Effects of OASDI Benefit Increase, June 1981
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 45 No. 2 (released February 1982)
by Joseph Bondar
Effects of OASDI Benefit Increase, June 1980
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 43 No. 11 (released November 1980)
by Barbara A. Lingg
Effects of OASDI Benefit Increase, June 1979
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 42 No. 12 (released December 1979)
by Barbara A. Lingg
Effects of OASDI Benefit Increase, June 1978
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 41 No. 10 (released October 1978)
by Barbara A. Lingg
Effects of OASDI Benefit Increase, June 1977
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 40 No. 12 (released December 1977)
by Barbara A. Lingg
Effects of OASDI Benefit Increase, June 1976
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 39 No. 12 (released December 1976)
Federal Civil-Service Annuitants and Social Security
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 32 No. 7 (released July 1969)
by Elizabeth M. Heidbreder
Old-Age, Survivors, Disability, and Health Insurance: Changes in the Beneficiary Population
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 32 No. 4 (released April 1969)
by Janet H. Murray
Disability and Old-Age Benefits, by State, December 31, 1964
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 28 No. 6 (released June 1965)
Disability and Old-Age Benefits, by State, December 31, 1963
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 27 No. 6 (released June 1964)
Age and Sex of Persons Receiving Both OASI Benefits and OAA Payments
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 26 No. 10 (released October 1963)
by Robert J. Myers
Disability and Old-Age Benefits, by State, December 31, 1962
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 26 No. 6 (released June 1963)
Old-Age Benefits in Current-Payment Status, by State, December 31, 1961
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 25 No. 9 (released September 1962)
Family Benefits in Current-Payment Status, June 30, 1961
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 25 No. 2 (released February 1962)
by George I. Kowalczyk
Old-Age Benefits in Current-Payment Status, by State, February 28, 1959
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 22 No. 12 (released December 1959)
Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Beneficiaries: Survey of Their Continuing Eligibility
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 20 No. 3 (released March 1957)
Family Benefits in Current-Payment Status, June 30, 1956
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 19 No. 12 (released December 1956)
Mortality After Retirement
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 17 No. 6 (released June 1954)
by Robert J. Myers
Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Beneficiaries: Income in 1951
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 16 No. 6 (released June 1953)
by Margaret L. Stecker
Old-Age Assistance Recipients: Reasons for Nonentitlement to Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Benefits
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 15 No. 7 (released July 1952)
by Charles E. Hawkins
Old-Age Benefit Awards, 1951
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 15 No. 7 (released July 1952)
OASI Beneficiaries Under Old and New Benefit Levels
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 14 No. 10 (released October 1951)
Aged OASI Beneficiaries Outnumber OAA Recipients
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 14 No. 8 (released August 1951)
Benefits in Current-Payment Status, State Distribution
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 14 No. 7 (released July 1951)
Old-Age and Survivors Insurance: Insured Workers and Their Representation in Claims
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 7, No. 5 (released May 1944)
by George E. Immerwahr and Harry Mehlman
Economic and Social Status of Beneficiaries of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 6, No. 7 (released July 1943)
by Edna C. Wentworth
Aged
Proposed Revisions to the Special Minimum Benefit for Low Lifetime Earners
Policy Brief No. 2014-01 (released September 2014)
by Glenn R. Springstead, Kevin Whitman, and Dave Shoffner

Social Security's special minimum benefit is declining in relative value, does not provide a full benefit equal to the poverty threshold, and reaches fewer beneficiaries each year. Members of Congress and other key policymakers have proposed several methods for revising the special minimum benefit, either as part of reforming Social Security more broadly or as stand-alone policy options. Most of the new options would index the benefit to wages, helping ensure its sustainability into the future. The options differ in how they define a “year of coverage,” how many years of coverage are required to be eligible for any benefit increase, and how much the full benefit increase should be. Those choices will determine who will receive the benefit increase and how adequate their benefit will be.

The Effects of Alternative Demographic and Economic Assumptions on MINT Simulations: A Sensitivity Analysis
Research and Statistics Note No. 2014-03 (released April 2014)
by Patrick J. Purcell and Dave Shoffner

The Social Security Administration's (SSA's) Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT) estimates income/wealth of future retirees. Estimates are based on demographic information from the Survey of Income and Program Participation: individual earnings histories and projections of interest rates, wage growth, mortality rates, and disability rates. Historically, MINT simulations were based exclusively on SSA's Office of the Chief Actuary's (OCACT's) intermediate-cost projections of key demographic/economic variables. The authors present the results of a sensitivity analysis in which they ran MINT using OCACT's low-cost/high-cost projections of mortality and disability trends. Those simulations estimated characteristics of the population aged 65 or older in 2040 under alternative projections of mortality/disability trends. The authors then describe simulations in which future real rates of return on stocks held in retirement accounts differ from the historical mean real rate of return used in baseline simulations. Sensitivity analyses can help MINT users choose model parameters with the greatest impact on simulation results.

African Americans: Description of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income Participation and Benefit Levels Using the American Community Survey
Research and Statistics Note No. 2014-01 (released January 2014)
by Patricia P. Martin and John L. Murphy

The authors use American Community Survey (ACS) data to compare Social Security and Supplemental Security Income program participation and benefit levels of African Americans with those of the general population. The ACS data show that African Americans are more likely to be Supplemental Security Income recipients, and less likely to be Social Security beneficiaries. Higher rates of poverty, disability, and mortality among African Americans mean that they are also more likely to rely on Social Security survivor and disability benefits than are other beneficiaries.

How Do Trends in Women's Labor Force Activity and Marriage Patterns Affect Social Security Replacement Rates?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 4 (released November 2013)
by April Yanyuan Wu, Nadia S. Karamcheva, Alicia H. Munnell, and Patrick J. Purcell

Changes in the role of women in the economy and in the family have affected both the amount and the type of Social Security benefits they receive in retirement. Women's labor force participation rate increased from less than 40 percent in 1950 to more than 70 percent in 2011. Over much of the same period, marriage rates fell and divorce rates rose. This article examines how women's higher earnings and lower marriage rates have affected Social Security replacement rates over time for individuals and for households.

The Projected Effects of Social Security Benefit Increase Options for Older Beneficiaries
Policy Brief No. 2013-01 (released October 2013)
by Kevin Whitman and Dave Shoffner

In conjunction with larger Social Security solvency plans, many policymakers have proposed introducing benefit increases for older beneficiaries. This brief analyzes the projected effects of two such policy options on beneficiaries aged 85 or older in 2030 using the Modeling Income in the Near Term model. Both options target older beneficiaries' primary insurance amounts for a 5 percent increase, but they differ in how the increase would be calculated. Both proposals would increase monthly benefits for nearly all older beneficiaries, and both would reduce poverty levels among the aged, relative to currently scheduled benefits. However, the options differ in how the benefit increases would be distributed among older beneficiaries across shared lifetime earnings quintiles.

Social Security Income Measurement in Two Surveys
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 3 (released August 2013)
by Howard M. Iams and Patrick J. Purcell

The deduction of Medicare premiums from Social Security benefit payments complicates the estimation of Social Security income in household surveys. Although the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS) and Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) both aim to collect and record gross Social Security benefit income before Medicare premium deductions, comparing the survey data with Social Security records indicates that the CPS and SIPP estimates differ and suggests that some survey respondents may report net benefit income.

The Impact of Retirement Account Distributions on Measures of Family Income
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 2 (released May 2013)
by Howard M. Iams and Patrick J. Purcell

The income of the aged is composed largely of Social Security benefits, asset income, and pension income. Over the past three decades, the primary form of employer-sponsored pension has shifted from the traditional defined benefit plan to defined contribution plans, such as the 401(k). That trend creates problems for measuring the income of the aged because most household surveys of income either do not collect information about distributions from defined contribution retirement accounts or do not include those distributions in their summary measures of income. This article examines the impact of including distributions from retirement accounts on the estimated income of families headed by persons aged 65 or older.

Modeling Behavioral Responses to Eliminating the Retirement Earnings Test
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 1 (released February 2013)
by Anya Olsen and Kathleen Romig

The retirement earnings test (RET) is an often-misunderstood aspect of the Social Security program. Policymakers have proposed reforming the RET as a way to encourage working at older ages. However, this could also cause earlier benefit claiming. We use Modeling Income in the Near Term data to analyze the complete repeal of the earnings test for beneficiaries aged 60 or older, first assuming no behavioral responses to repeal and secondly assuming changes to benefit claiming and workforce participation behaviors. Our lifetime results show that the assumed behavioral response—particularly the benefit claiming change—has a bigger effect than the RET policy change itself.

How Did the Recession of 2007–2009 Affect the Wealth and Retirement of the Near Retirement Age Population in the Health and Retirement Study?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 4 (released November 2012)
by Alan L. Gustman, Thomas L. Steinmeier, and Nahid Tabatabai

This article uses household wealth and labor market data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to investigate how the recent "Great Recession" has affected the wealth and retirement of the Early Boomer cohort, those in the population who were just approaching retirement age at the beginning of the recession. The retirement wealth of people aged 53–58 before the onset of the recession in 2006 declined by a relatively modest 2.8 percent by 2010. For members of older cohorts, wealth had increased by about 5 percent over a comparable age span. The wealth holdings of poorer households were least affected by the recession. Relative losses were greatest for those who initially had the highest wealth when the recession began. The retirement behavior of the Early Boomer cohort looks similar, at least to date, to the behavior observed for members of older cohorts at comparable ages.

Mind the Gap: The Distributional Effects of Raising the Early Eligibility Age and Full Retirement Age
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 4 (released November 2012)
by Anya Olsen

Policymakers have proposed increases to the early eligibility age (EEA) and/or full retirement age (FRA) to address increasing life expectancy and Social Security solvency issues. This analysis uses the Social Security Administration's Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT) model to compare three retirement-age increases suggested by the Social Security Advisory Board: (1) increase the FRA alone, (2) increase both the EEA and FRA to maintain a 4-year gap between them, and (3) increase both the EEA and FRA to maintain a 5-year gap between them. This distributional analysis shows the impact these varying reforms would have on Social Security beneficiaries in the future.

Income Replacement Ratios in the Health and Retirement Study
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 3 (released August 2012)
by Patrick J. Purcell

Income typically falls in retirement, and the timing and extent of that decline concerns policymakers. If income from Social Security, pensions, and savings do not allow retirees to maintain their desired standard of living, they will face difficult and perhaps unexpected choices about reducing or eliminating certain kinds of expenditures. The income replacement ratio—retirement income expressed as a percentage of preretirement income—has become a familiar metric for assessing the adequacy of retirement income. This article presents the income replacement ratios experienced by members of the original sample cohort of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), who were born between 1931 and 1941. Median replacement ratios among this sample fall as the retirement period grows longer.

The Growth in Social Security Benefits Among the Retirement-Age Population from Increases in the Cap on Covered Earnings
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 2 (released May 2012)
by Alan L. Gustman, Thomas L. Steinmeier, and Nahid Tabatabai

This article investigates how raising the maximum level of earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax leads to the "leakage" of portions of the additional revenue into higher benefit payments. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, the authors simulate the effects of changes in maximum taxable earnings for cohorts approaching retirement age over a 24-year period. They find, roughly, that almost half of the additional tax revenue from having raised the maximum earnings subject to the payroll tax has leaked into higher benefits.

Raising Household Saving: Does Financial Education Work?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 2 (released May 2012)
by William G. Gale, Benjamin H. Harris, and Ruth Levine

Financial illiteracy is prevalent in the United States, and low levels of financial literacy are associated with poor financial choices and negative economic outcomes. We examine previous work on the effect of financial education on household saving and find mixed results. Workplace financial education seminars positively affect household saving, but the size of this effect varies widely across studies. The effects of other financial education initiatives are less clear, highlighting the need for rigorous econometric evaluation of efforts to improve financial literacy.

What Can We Learn from Analyzing Historical Data on Social Security Entitlements?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 4 (released November 2011)
by Joyce Manchester and Jae G. Song

Data from administrative records of the Social Security Administration allow us to examine patterns of initial entitlement to Old-Age Insurance benefits as well as Disability Insurance benefits. We follow cohorts born in different years over their lifetimes to identify changes in entitlements by age over time. Breaking out single birth cohorts shows close adherence in entitlement ages to rule changes as well as increasing shares of cohorts relying on the Disability Insurance program in middle age.

Caregiver Credits in France, Germany, and Sweden: Lessons for the United States
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 4 (released November 2011)
by John Jankowski

Analysts have long considered caregiver credits, or pension credits, provided to individuals for time spent out of the workforce caring for dependent children and sick or elderly relatives, as a way to improve the adequacy of retirement benefits for women in the United States. This article examines the experiences of France, Germany, and Sweden with caregiver credits, focusing particularly on the design, administration, and cost of these programs.

Military Veterans and Social Security: 2010 Update
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 2 (released May 2011)
by Anya Olsen and Samantha O'Leary

More than one 1 of 5 adult Social Security beneficiaries has served in the military, and veterans and their families comprise 35 percent of the beneficiary population. Using data from the March 2010 Current Population Survey (CPS), this article presents the sociodemographic characteristics of the veteran beneficiary and the total veteran populations. The article draws comparisons with findings from the March 2000 CPS and the March 2004 CPS, and describes trends in the size and demographic makeup of the veteran population using data from the Department of Veterans Affairs' VetPop2007 projection model.

Distributional Effects of Accelerating and Extending the Increase in the Full Retirement Age
Policy Brief No. 2011-01 (released January 2011)
by Glenn R. Springstead

This policy brief compares two options set forth by the Social Security Advisory Board to increase the full retirement age (FRA), the age at which claimants may receive unreduced Social Security old-age benefits. One option would raise the FRA from the current target of 67 years to 68 years; the other would raise the FRA to 70 years. The brief examines the effects of both options on the level of benefits of Social Security beneficiaries aged 62 or older in 2070 using Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT) projections, and on Trust Fund solvency using estimates from the Social Security Administration's Office of the Chief Actuary. The brief finds that both options would reduce benefits, improve solvency, and slightly increase the poverty rate. Within each option, effects on benefits are relatively uniform across beneficiary characteristics, although some surviving spouse and disabled beneficiaries would be shielded from benefit reductions.

Distributional Effects of Price Indexing Social Security Benefits
Policy Brief No. 2010-03 (released November 2010)
by Mark A. Sarney

This policy brief compares five options (four progressive price indexing and one full price indexing option) set forth by the Social Security Advisory Board to index initial benefits to price growth. It examines the distribution of benefits of Social Security beneficiaries aged 62 or older in 2030, 2050, and 2070 using Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT) model projections. The brief finds that the full price indexing option Shield 0% would more than achieve long-term solvency by reducing benefits by about 35 percent in 2070 and would increase the aged poverty rate compared with scheduled levels. The four progressive price indexing options (Shields 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%) would produce smaller benefit reductions by exempting varying proportions of lower earners from price indexing. Those options would not increase poverty above scheduled levels, but would reduce benefits for some low earners because their auxiliary benefits come from the reduced benefits of a higher-earning spouse. The progressive price indexing options would make Social Security more progressive compared with scheduled and payable benefits, both when looking at household benefit reductions by household income in a given year and when examining the distribution of lifetime taxes and benefits.

Distributional Effects of Reducing the Social Security Benefit Formula
Policy Brief No. 2010-02 (released November 2010)
by Glenn R. Springstead

A person's Social Security benefit, or primary insurance amount (PIA), is 90 percent of the lowest portion of lifetime earnings, plus 32 percent of the middle portion of lifetime earnings, plus 15 percent of the highest portion of lifetime earnings. This policy brief analyzes the distributional effects of three options (the three-point, five-point and upper) discussed by the Social Security Advisory Board to reduce the PIA. The first option would reduce the PIA by 3 percentage points; the second would reduce it by 5 percentage points; and the third would reduce the 32 and 15 percentages of the PIA to 21 and 10 percent, respectively. The third option would exempt about one quarter of the lowest earning beneficiaries, while reducing benefits by a median average of 19 percent in 2070. None would eliminate Social Security's long-term fiscal imbalance, although the third option would eliminate more (76 percent) of the deficit than the three-point (18 percent) and five-point (31 percent) options.

Low Levels of Retirement Resources in the Near-Elderly Time Period and Future Participation in Means-Tested Programs
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 70 No. 1 (released February 2010)
by Alexander Strand

This article describes the de facto standards of low income and resources reflected in the eligibility standards of the largest means-tested programs that serve the elderly and then applies these standards to a near-elderly cohort. Through juxtaposing retirement resources in the near-elderly time period with program participation in the elderly time period, the author indirectly examines some of the changes between the two time periods that could affect program eligibility, including spend-down of resources and marital dissolution. Retirement resource levels are estimated using the Survey of Income and Program Participation, and subsequent participation in one of the means-tested programs—Supplemental Security Income (SSI)—is examined using matched administrative records.

The Research Contributions of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 4 (released December 2009)
by Steven A. Sass

This article reviews the research contributions of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College over its 10-year history and their implications for Social Security and retirement income policy in three major areas: (1) Social Security's long-term financing shortfall, (2) the adequacy of retirement incomes, and (3) labor force participation at older ages as a means to improve retirement income security. The center has received substantial funding support from the Social Security Administration (SSA) in each area and has also successfully leveraged SSA's investment by attracting funding from other sources.

Earnings Sharing in Social Security: Projected Impacts of Alternative Proposals Using the MINT Model
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 1 (released May 2009)
by Howard M. Iams, Gayle L. Reznik, and Christopher R. Tamborini

Earnings sharing is an alternate method of calculating Social Security retirement benefits whereby earnings are assumed to be shared by married couples. This article presents a microsimulation analysis to estimate the impact of three earnings sharing proposals on the aged population of married, divorced, and widowed men and women in 2030. The impact of earnings sharing differs by marital status and sex, as measured by the percentage change in benefits and by the percentage of beneficiaries with increased and reduced benefits.

Cohort Changes in the Retirement Resources of Older Women
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 4 (released March 2009)
by Howard M. Iams, John W. R. Phillips, Kristen Robinson, Lionel P. Deang, and Irena Dushi

This article uses different sources of United States data to focus on the retirement resources of women aged 55–64 in 2004, 1994, and 1984. Notable changes have occurred with women's pathways into retirement resulting from increased education and lifetime work experience. There appear marked cohort differences in potential retirement outcomes.

A Progressivity Index for Social Security
Issue Paper No. 2009-01 (released January 2009)
by Andrew G. Biggs, Mark A. Sarney, and Christopher R. Tamborini

Using the Social Security Administration's MINT (Modeling Income in the Near Term) model, this paper analyzes the progressivity of the Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program for current and future retirees. It uses a progressivity index that provides a summary measure of the distribution of taxes and benefits on a lifetime basis. Results indicate that OASDI lies roughly halfway between a flat replacement rate and a flat dollar benefit for current retirees. Projections suggest that progressivity will remain relatively similar for future retirees. In addition, the paper estimates the effects of several policy changes on progressivity for future retirees.

Estimated Retirement Benefits in the Social Security Statement
Research and Statistics Note No. 2008-05 (released November 2008)
by Glenn R. Springstead, David A. Weaver, and Jason J. Fichtner
Alternate Measures of Replacement Rates for Social Security Benefits and Retirement Income
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 2 (released October 2008)
by Andrew G. Biggs and Glenn R. Springstead

Replacement rates are common and useful tools used by individuals and policy analysts to plan for retirement and assess the sufficiency of Social Security benefits and overall retirement income. Because the calculation and meaning of replacement rates differs depending on the definition of preretirement earnings, this article examines four alternative measures: final preretirement earnings, constant income payable from the present value of lifetime earnings (PV payment), wage-indexed average of lifetime earnings, and inflation-adjusted average of lifetime earnings (CPI average). The article also calculates replacement rates for Social Security beneficiaries aged 64–66 in 2005.

Chile's Next Generation Pension Reform
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 2 (released October 2008)
by Barbara E. Kritzer

Since its inception in 1981, Chile's system of mandatory individual retirement accounts has become a model for pension reformers around the world. A March 2008 comprehensive pension reform law made major changes that address some key policy challenges including worker coverage, gender equity, pension adequacy, and administrative fees. The cornerstone of the new law sets up a basic universal pension as a supplement to the individual accounts system.

Disabled Workers and the Indexing of Social Security Benefits
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 4 (released May 2008)
by Alexander Strand and Kalman Rupp

This article presents the distributional effects of changing the Social Security indexing scheme, with an emphasis on the effects upon disabled-worker beneficiaries. Although a class of reform proposals that would slow the rate of growth of initial benefit levels over time—including price indexing and longevity indexing—initially appear to affect all beneficiaries proportionally, there can be different impacts on different groups of beneficiaries. The impacts between and within groups are mitigated by (1) the offsetting effect of changes in Supplemental Security Income benefits at the lower tail of the income distribution, and (2) the dampening effect of other family income at the upper tail of the income distribution. The authors present estimates of the size of these effects.

Benefit Adequacy Among Elderly Social Security Retired-Worker Beneficiaries and the SSI Federal Benefit Rate
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 3 (released April 2008)
by Kalman Rupp, Alexander Strand, Paul S. Davies, and James Sears

The federal benefit rate (FBR) of the Supplemental Security Income program provides an inflation-indexed income guarantee for aged and disabled people with low assets. Some consider the FBR as an attractive measure of Social Security benefit adequacy. Others propose the FBR as an administratively simple, well-targeted minimum Social Security benefit. However, these claims have not been empirically tested. Using microdata from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, this article finds that the FBR is an imprecise measure of benefit adequacy; it incorrectly identifies as economically vulnerable many who are not poor, and disregards some who are poor. The reason for this is that the FBR-level benefit threshold of adequacy considers the Social Security benefit in isolation and ignores the family consumption unit. The FBR would provide an administratively simple but poorly targeted foundation for a minimum Social Security benefit. The empirical estimates quantify the substantial tradeoffs between administrative simplicity and target effectiveness.

Estimates of Unreported Asset Income in the Survey of Consumer Finances and the Relative Importance of Social Security Benefits to the Elderly
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 2 (released February 2008)
by T. Lynn Fisher

Through the 1990s and the early 2000s, the Income of the Population 55 or Older has reported a decline in the proportion of the elderly receiving asset income and the corresponding rise in the proportion receiving all of their income from Social Security. This analysis uses the Survey of Consumer Finances from 1992 to 2001 to examine financial asset holdings of the elderly and to determine if those who do not report asset income in fact might hold assets that are likely to generate income. Imputing asset income from likely income-producing holdings, the article examines the impact of probable missing asset income information upon measures of elderly income.

The Impact of the Unit of Observation on the Measurement of the Relative Importance of Social Security Benefits to the Elderly
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 2 (released February 2008)
by T. Lynn Fisher

Other publications using the same data source as Income of the Population 55 or Older, 2004 have produced different statistics for income and the relative importance of Social Security that appear contradictory. Depending on the unit of observation and whose income is considered, the estimates of the percentage of the elderly receiving all of their income from Social Security in 2004 varies from 13 percent to 22 percent. This article explains how the choice of the unit of observation impacts measures of the relative importance of Social Security benefits for the elderly.

The Impact of Survey Choice on Measuring the Relative Importance of Social Security Benefits to the Elderly
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 2 (released February 2008)
by T. Lynn Fisher

This article provides insight into how measures of elderly economic well-being are sensitive to the survey data source. In Social Security Administration's publication Income of the Population 55 or Older, data are based on the national Current Population Survey (CPS). The preciseness of the survey statistics depends upon the willingness and ability of CPS respondents to answer questions accurately. This article contrasts income statistics calculated using the CPS and the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Administrative data for Social Security benefits and SSI are also used to evaluate the accuracy of the income estimates.

Measuring the Relative Importance of Social Security Benefits to the Elderly
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 2 (released February 2008)
by T. Lynn Fisher

Provided is a discussion of the cumulative effects of the measurement alternatives described in the three previous articles: considering family income of persons rather than aged units, using administrative data in place of survey reported data, and switching the data source from CPS to SIPP. The current-methodology CPS statistic of 17.9 percent of beneficiary aged units receiving all of their income from Social Security in 1996 falls to a substantially smaller estimated 4.5 percent of elderly beneficiary persons based on family income when using the SIPP and Social Security administrative data.

New Evidence on Earnings and Benefit Claims Following Changes in the Retirement Earnings Test in 2000
ORES Working Paper No. 107 (released June 2006)
by Jae G. Song and Joyce Manchester

In April 2000, Congress enacted the Senior Citizens Freedom to Work Act of 2000, which removed the retirement earnings test for individuals at the full retirement age and older. This paper examines the labor force activity of workers aged 65–69 relative to older and younger workers in response to the removal of the earnings test. We use the 1 percent sample of Social Security administrative data that covers the period from 4 years before to 4 years following the removal of the test. Quantile regression methods allow us to identify the earnings levels of workers who change their work effort.

Poverty-level Annuitization Requirements in Social Security Proposals Incorporating Personal Retirement Accounts
Issue Paper No. 2005-01 (released April 2005)
by Dave Shoffner, Andrew G. Biggs, and Preston Jacobs

In the current discussions of Social Security reform, voluntary personal retirement accounts have been proposed. Recent research and debate have focused on several aspects of these accounts, including how such accounts would affect aggregate saving, system finances, and benefit levels. Little attention, however, has been paid to policies that would govern the distribution of account balances. This analysis considers such policies with respect to the annuitization of account balances at retirement using the Social Security Administration's Modeling Income in the New Term (MINT) model and a modified version of a recent legislative proposal to evaluate the effects of partial annuitization requirements.

Comparing Replacement Rates Under Private and Federal Retirement Systems
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 65 No. 1 (released May 2004)
by Patricia P. Martin

This article presents a comparison of replacement rates for employees of medium and large private establishments to replacement rates for federal employees under the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees Retirement System. This analysis shows the possibility of replacement rates exceeding 100 percent for FERS employees who contribute 6 percent of earnings to the Thrift Savings Plan over a full working career. Private-sector replacement rates were quite similar for workers with both a defined benefit and a defined contribution pension plan.

The Hazard of Mortality Among Aging Retired- and Disabled-Worker Men: A Comparative Sociodemographic and Health Status Analysis
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 57 No. 3 (released July 1994)
by John L. McCoy, Howard M. Iams, and Timothy Armstrong
Income and Assets of Social Security Beneficiaries by Type of Benefit
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 52 No. 1 (released January 1989)
by Susan Grad
Life Expectancy and Health Status of the Aged
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 49 No. 10 (released October 1986)
by Steven H. Chapman, Mitchell P. LaPlante, and Gail Wilensky
Female Social Security Beneficiaries Aged 62 or Older, 1960–82
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 46 No. 9 (released September 1983)
by Barbara A. Lingg
Labor-Force Participation of Older Married Women
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 43 No. 8 (released August 1980)
by John C. Henretta and Angela M. O'Rand
Comparison of Aged OASDI and SSI Recipients, 1974
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 42 No. 1 (released January 1979)
by Sally R. Sherman
Retirement History Study's First Four Years: Work, Health, and Living Arrangements
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 39 No. 12 (released December 1976)
by Kathleen Bond
Why Men Stop Working At or Before Age 65: Findings from the Survey of New Beneficiaries
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 34 No. 6 (released June 1971)
by Virginia P. Reno
Retirement Benefits for Very Elderly
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 34 No. 4 (released April 1971)
by Max Horlick
Aged OASDHI Beneficiaries: Interstate Migration
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 33 No. 5 (released May 1970)
by William J. Nelson, Jr.
Characteristics of 'New' Old-Age Assistance Recipients, 1965
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 31 No. 7 (released July 1968)
by Philip Frohlich
Retirement Patterns Among Aged Men: Findings of the 1963 Survey of the Aged
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 27 No. 8 (released August 1964)
by Erdman Palmore
Old-Age Benefits In Current-Payment Status, By State, December 31, 1960
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 24 No. 9 (released September 1961)
by Hammett Buchanan
Aged Beneficiaries of OASI
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 19 No. 12 (released December 1956)
Old-Age Insurance Benefits, 1955
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 19 No. 10 (released October 1956)
Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Beneficiaries: Assets and Liabilities at End of 1951
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 16 No. 8 (released August 1953)
by Margaret L. Stecker
Aged Beneficiaries of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and the Aged Population
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 12 No. 1 (released January 1949)
Early Retirees
Incentivizing Delayed Claiming of Social Security Retirement Benefits Before Reaching the Full Retirement Age
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 74 No. 4 (released November 2014)
by Melissa A. Z. Knoll and Anya Olsen

Claiming Social Security retirement benefits before the full retirement age (FRA) results in permanently lower benefits, while delaying claiming permanently increases benefits. This article uses Modeling Income in the Near Term data to determine the socioeconomic characteristics of individuals who claim at various ages. The authors then describe a number of novel approaches aimed at encouraging individuals to delay claiming in the months and years before reaching their FRA. Lastly, the authors model one of those approaches to examine how a 1-year delay in claiming affects benefits and poverty in the future.

Outcome Variation in the Social Security Disability Insurance Program: The Role of Primary Diagnoses
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 2 (released May 2013)
by Javier Meseguer

This article investigates the role that primary impairments play in explaining heterogeneity in disability decisions. Using claimant-level data within a hierarchical framework, the author explores variation in outcomes along three dimensions: state of origin, adjudicative stage, and primary diagnosis. The findings indicate that the impairments account for a substantial portion of claimant-level variation in initial allowances. Furthermore, the author finds that the predictions of an initial and a final allowance are highly correlated when applicants are grouped by impairment. In other words, diagnoses that are more likely to result in an initial allowance also tend to be more likely to receive a final allowance.

Modeling Behavioral Responses to Eliminating the Retirement Earnings Test
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 1 (released February 2013)
by Anya Olsen and Kathleen Romig

The retirement earnings test (RET) is an often-misunderstood aspect of the Social Security program. Policymakers have proposed reforming the RET as a way to encourage working at older ages. However, this could also cause earlier benefit claiming. We use Modeling Income in the Near Term data to analyze the complete repeal of the earnings test for beneficiaries aged 60 or older, first assuming no behavioral responses to repeal and secondly assuming changes to benefit claiming and workforce participation behaviors. Our lifetime results show that the assumed behavioral response—particularly the benefit claiming change—has a bigger effect than the RET policy change itself.

Raising Household Saving: Does Financial Education Work?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 2 (released May 2012)
by William G. Gale, Benjamin H. Harris, and Ruth Levine

Financial illiteracy is prevalent in the United States, and low levels of financial literacy are associated with poor financial choices and negative economic outcomes. We examine previous work on the effect of financial education on household saving and find mixed results. Workplace financial education seminars positively affect household saving, but the size of this effect varies widely across studies. The effects of other financial education initiatives are less clear, highlighting the need for rigorous econometric evaluation of efforts to improve financial literacy.

Behavioral and Psychological Aspects of the Retirement Decision
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 4 (released November 2011)
by Melissa A. Z. Knoll

The majority of research dealing with the retirement decision has focused on the health and wealth aspects of retirement. Research in the areas of judgment and decision making and behavioral economics suggests that there may be a number of behavioral factors that influence the retirement decision as well. This review highlights such factors and offers a unique perspective on potential determinants of retirement behavior, including anchoring and framing effects, affective forecasting, hyperbolic discounting, and the planning fallacy. The author describes findings from previous research, as well as draws novel connections between existing decision-making research and the retirement decision.

The Research Contributions of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 4 (released December 2009)
by Steven A. Sass

This article reviews the research contributions of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College over its 10-year history and their implications for Social Security and retirement income policy in three major areas: (1) Social Security's long-term financing shortfall, (2) the adequacy of retirement incomes, and (3) labor force participation at older ages as a means to improve retirement income security. The center has received substantial funding support from the Social Security Administration (SSA) in each area and has also successfully leveraged SSA's investment by attracting funding from other sources.

Chile's Next Generation Pension Reform
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 2 (released October 2008)
by Barbara E. Kritzer

Since its inception in 1981, Chile's system of mandatory individual retirement accounts has become a model for pension reformers around the world. A March 2008 comprehensive pension reform law made major changes that address some key policy challenges including worker coverage, gender equity, pension adequacy, and administrative fees. The cornerstone of the new law sets up a basic universal pension as a supplement to the individual accounts system.

Do Early Retirees Die Early? Evidence from Three Independent Data Sets
ORES Working Paper No. 97 (released July 2002)
by Hilary Waldron

In a 2001 working paper, Links Between Early Retirement and Mortality (ORES Working Paper No. 93), the author used cross-sectional Current Population Survey (CPS) matched to longitudinal Social Security administration data and found that men who retire early die sooner than men who retire at age 65 or older. Estimates of relative mortality risk control for current age, year of birth, education, marital status in 1973, and race, and the sample is restricted to men who have lived to at least age 65.

This paper uses the 1982 New Beneficiary Survey and a 1 percent extract of the Social Security Administration's year 2000 Master Beneficiary Records to test whether the mortality differentials reported in the author's earlier work can be replicated in other independent data sets.

Early Retirees Under Social Security: Health Status and Economic Resources
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 63 No. 4 (released September 2001)
by Michael V. Leonesio, Denton R. Vaughan, and Bernard Wixon

Policies that would reduce or eliminate Social Security benefits for early retirees could have adverse consequences for older workers in poor health. This article documents the health and financial circumstances of beneficiaries aged 62–64. It examines the extent to which poor health limits work among early retirees and assesses the extent to which curtailment of early retirement benefits might lead to increases in the Disability Insurance program rolls.

The Erosion of Retiree Health Benefits and Retirement Behavior: Implications for the Disability Insurance Program
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 63 No. 4 (released September 2001)
by Paul Fronstin

The number of companies offering health benefits to early retirees is declining, although reductions in the percentage of early retirees covered by health insurance have been only slight to date. In general, workers who will be covered by health insurance are more likely than other workers to retire before the age of 65, when they become eligible for Medicare. What effect that will have on claims under the Disability Insurance program is not yet clear.

Links Between Early Retirement and Mortality
ORES Working Paper No. 93 (released August 2001)
by Hilary Waldron

In this paper, the author uses the 1973 cross-sectional Current Population Survey (CPS) matched to longitudinal Social Security administrative data (through 1998) to examine the relationship between retirement age and mortality for men who have lived to at least age 65 by 1997 or earlier. Logistic regression results indicate that controlling for current age, year of birth, education, marital status in 1973, and race, men who retire early die sooner than men who retire at age 65 or older. A positive correlation between age of retirement and life expectancy may suggest that retirement age is correlated with health in the 1973 CPS; however, the 1973 CPS data do not provide the ability to test that hypothesis directly.

Early Retirees Under Social Security: Health Status and Economic Resources
ORES Working Paper No. 86 (released August 2000)
by Michael V. Leonesio, Denton R. Vaughan, and Bernard Wixon

Some proposals to change the Social Security program to ensure long-run solvency would reduce or eliminate benefits to some early retirees. To what extent might those benefit reductions cause hardship for individuals with precarious financial circumstances and whose health appears to limit their ability to offset reductions in Social Security income through increased earnings? Our research is intended to identify the size and characteristics of the population that might be at risk as a consequence of such changes.

The central finding is that over 20 percent of early Social Security retirees have health problems that substantially impair their ability to work. In fact, among those aged 62–64 who are severely impaired, there are as many Old-Age and Survivors Insurance beneficiaries as there are beneficiaries under SSA's two disability programs. The retirement program functions as a substantial, albeit unofficial, disability program for this age group. Moreover, the majority of the most severely impaired early retirees would not qualify for Disability Insurance benefits.

Who Is "62 Enough"? Identifying Respondents Eligible for Social Security Early Retirement Benefits in the Health and Retirement Study
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 62 No. 3 (released January 2000)
by Janice A. Olson

Workers are not instantly eligible for Social Security retirement benefits on their 62nd birthdays, nor can they receive benefits in the month they turn 62. This note discusses how well researchers can do using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to identify respondents old enough to receive and report early Social Security retirement benefits. It shows that only some workers aged 62 at the time of an HRS interview will be "62 enough" to have received a Social Security benefit and reported it in the survey.

Who Is "62 Enough": Identifying Eligibles for Social Security Early Retirement in the Health and Retirement Study
ORES Working Paper No. 85 (released September 1999)
by Janice A. Olson

Either the normal retirement age (NRA) or the earliest eligibility age (EEA) for Social Security retirement benefits would be increased under many proposals for Social Security reform. As a consequence, research interest in who retires at early ages and the potential effects of an increase in the NRA or EEA has grown. This note discusses how well researchers can do using data from the Health and Retirement Study in identifying the pool of respondents who could have received early Social Security retirement benefits.

A Look at Very Early Retirees
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 52 No. 3 (released March 1989)
by Michael D. Packard and Virginia P. Reno
Mortality and Early Retirement
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 45 No. 12 (released December 1982)
The Health of Very Early Retirees
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 45 No. 9 (released September 1982)
by Eric R. Kingson
OASDI Actuarial Reduction Factor Recomputed
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 42 No. 5 (released May 1979)
by George Stepanovich
Early Labor-Force Withdrawal of Men: Participants and Nonparticipants Aged 58–63
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 37 No. 8 (released August 1974)
by Karen Schwab
Men Who Claim Benefits Before Age 65: Findings from the Survey of New Beneficiaries, 1968
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 33 No. 11 (released November 1970)
by Patience Lauriat and William T. Rabin
Another Dimension to Measuring Early Retirement
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 30 No. 12 (released December 1967)
Reduced Benefit Awards to Retired Workers: Measuring Extent of Early Retirement
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 29 No. 10 (released October 1966)
by Harry Shulman
Old-Age Benefits For Workers Retiring Before Age 65
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 29 No. 2 (released February 1966)
by Saul Waldman
Old-Age and Survivors Insurance: A Report on the Retirement Test
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 23 No. 10 (released October 1960)
Minorities (Racial and ethnic)
African Americans: Description of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income Participation and Benefit Levels Using the American Community Survey
Research and Statistics Note No. 2014-01 (released January 2014)
by Patricia P. Martin and John L. Murphy

The authors use American Community Survey (ACS) data to compare Social Security and Supplemental Security Income program participation and benefit levels of African Americans with those of the general population. The ACS data show that African Americans are more likely to be Supplemental Security Income recipients, and less likely to be Social Security beneficiaries. Higher rates of poverty, disability, and mortality among African Americans mean that they are also more likely to rely on Social Security survivor and disability benefits than are other beneficiaries.

An Overview of American Indians and Alaska Natives in the Context of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 4 (released November 2012)
by Nolan Smith-Kaprosy, Patricia P. Martin, and Kevin Whitman

The American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) population is understudied in a variety of policy contexts. This article compares AIAN socioeconomic characteristics with those of the total population, focusing on patterns of adult Social Security benefit and Supplemental Security Income receipt. The analysis takes advantage of the relatively large AIAN sample size provided by the 2005–2009 American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample.

Raising Household Saving: Does Financial Education Work?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 2 (released May 2012)
by William G. Gale, Benjamin H. Harris, and Ruth Levine

Financial illiteracy is prevalent in the United States, and low levels of financial literacy are associated with poor financial choices and negative economic outcomes. We examine previous work on the effect of financial education on household saving and find mixed results. Workplace financial education seminars positively affect household saving, but the size of this effect varies widely across studies. The effects of other financial education initiatives are less clear, highlighting the need for rigorous econometric evaluation of efforts to improve financial literacy.

The Implications of Marital History Change on Women's Eligibility for Social Security Wife and Widow Benefits, 1990–2009
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 2 (released May 2012)
by Howard M. Iams and Christopher R. Tamborini

Social Security retirement-age benefits in the United States reflect marital histories and lifetime earnings of current and former married couples. We examine women's marital history patterns and spouse and widow benefit eligibility over the past two decades, 1990 and 2009. Our analysis reveals substantial changes in women's marital patterns among the baby boom and generation X cohorts. We find a substantial decline in qualifying marital histories for Social Security spouse and widow benefits. The results reveal considerable variation by race and Hispanic origin.

Measures of Health and Economic Well-Being Among American Indians and Alaska Natives Aged 62 or Older in 2030
Research and Statistics Note No. 2012-02 (released February 2012)
by Amy Dunaway-Knight, Melissa A. Z. Knoll, Dave Shoffner, and Kevin Whitman

This Research and Statistics Note uses Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT) projections to provide an overview of the demographic, health, and economic characteristics of the American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) population aged 62 or older in 2030. MINT projects that the AIAN population will fare worse than the overall aged population in 2030 according to measures of health status, work limitation status, disability status, lifetime earnings, per capita Social Security benefits, per capita income, per capita wealth, and poverty.

The Decision to Exclude Agricultural and Domestic Workers from the 1935 Social Security Act
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 70 No. 4 (released November 2010)
by Larry DeWitt

The Social Security Act of 1935 excluded from coverage about half the workers in the American economy. Among the excluded groups were agricultural and domestic workers. Some scholars have attributed this exclusion to racial bias against African Americans. In this article, the author examines the evidence of the origins of the coverage exclusions in 1935 and concludes that this particular provision had nothing to do with race.

Hispanics, Social Security, and Supplemental Security Income
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 2 (released February 2008)
by Patricia P. Martin

This article uses a relatively new data source—the American Community Survey (ACS) to document the economic and demographic characteristics of the Hispanic population in the United States. Although the article focuses on Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients, other segments of the population are also examined. The ACS data show that the Hispanic population is significantly different from the overall population, particularly with regard to age distribution, education, and economic well-being.

The Distributional Consequences of a "No-Action" Scenario: Updated Results
Policy Brief No. 2005-01 (released July 2005)

Under the Social Security program, benefits are paid to retired workers, survivors, and disabled persons out of two trust funds—the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and the Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds. In their 2005 report, the Social Security Trustees projected that the combined OASDI trust funds would be exhausted in 2041. Because the trust funds are used to pay benefits, retirement benefits would have to be reduced somewhat in 2041 and more drastically in 2042.

If no action were taken to strengthen Social Security, the benefit reductions necessitated by the exhaustion of the trust funds would double the poverty rate of Social Security beneficiaries aged 64–78 in 2042, from 1.5 percent to 3.3 percent. However, this increased poverty rate would still be lower than the current poverty rate for beneficiaries aged 62–76, which is 4.6 percent. In addition, the trust funds' exhaustion could lead to lower returns on payroll taxes using traditional "money's-worth" measures.

Poverty-level Annuitization Requirements in Social Security Proposals Incorporating Personal Retirement Accounts
Issue Paper No. 2005-01 (released April 2005)
by Dave Shoffner, Andrew G. Biggs, and Preston Jacobs

In the current discussions of Social Security reform, voluntary personal retirement accounts have been proposed. Recent research and debate have focused on several aspects of these accounts, including how such accounts would affect aggregate saving, system finances, and benefit levels. Little attention, however, has been paid to policies that would govern the distribution of account balances. This analysis considers such policies with respect to the annuitization of account balances at retirement using the Social Security Administration's Modeling Income in the New Term (MINT) model and a modified version of a recent legislative proposal to evaluate the effects of partial annuitization requirements.

The Distributional Consequences of a "No-Action" Scenario
Policy Brief No. 2004-01 (released February 2004)
by Andrew G. Biggs

The 2001 report of the Social Security trustees projected that the combined trust funds for the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance programs will be exhausted in 2038. This analysis explains the effects of insolvency on future retirement benefits and poverty rates of beneficiaries if no action is taken to strengthen Social Security.

Minorities and Social Security: An Analysis of Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Current Program
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 62 No. 2 (released September 1999)
by Alexa A. Hendley and Natasha F. Bilimoria

This report addresses how individuals from various racial and ethnic groups fare under the current Social Security system. It examines the relative importance of Social Security for these individuals and how several aspects of the system affect them.

Blacks and Social Security Benefits: Trends, 1960–73
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 38 No. 4 (released April 1975)
by Gayle B. Thompson
Spanish-Surnamed OASDI Beneficiaries in the Southwest
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 36 No. 4 (released April 1973)
by Jack Schmulowitz
Characteristics and Taxable Wages of Negro Workers, 13 Selected Southern States, 1938
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 3 (released March 1941)
by Charles L. Franklin
Survivors
Modeling Behavioral Responses to Eliminating the Retirement Earnings Test
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 1 (released February 2013)
by Anya Olsen and Kathleen Romig

The retirement earnings test (RET) is an often-misunderstood aspect of the Social Security program. Policymakers have proposed reforming the RET as a way to encourage working at older ages. However, this could also cause earlier benefit claiming. We use Modeling Income in the Near Term data to analyze the complete repeal of the earnings test for beneficiaries aged 60 or older, first assuming no behavioral responses to repeal and secondly assuming changes to benefit claiming and workforce participation behaviors. Our lifetime results show that the assumed behavioral response—particularly the benefit claiming change—has a bigger effect than the RET policy change itself.

The Growth in Social Security Benefits Among the Retirement-Age Population from Increases in the Cap on Covered Earnings
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 2 (released May 2012)
by Alan L. Gustman, Thomas L. Steinmeier, and Nahid Tabatabai

This article investigates how raising the maximum level of earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax leads to the "leakage" of portions of the additional revenue into higher benefit payments. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, the authors simulate the effects of changes in maximum taxable earnings for cohorts approaching retirement age over a 24-year period. They find, roughly, that almost half of the additional tax revenue from having raised the maximum earnings subject to the payroll tax has leaked into higher benefits.

The Implications of Marital History Change on Women's Eligibility for Social Security Wife and Widow Benefits, 1990–2009
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 2 (released May 2012)
by Howard M. Iams and Christopher R. Tamborini

Social Security retirement-age benefits in the United States reflect marital histories and lifetime earnings of current and former married couples. We examine women's marital history patterns and spouse and widow benefit eligibility over the past two decades, 1990 and 2009. Our analysis reveals substantial changes in women's marital patterns among the baby boom and generation X cohorts. We find a substantial decline in qualifying marital histories for Social Security spouse and widow benefits. The results reveal considerable variation by race and Hispanic origin.

Caregiver Credits in France, Germany, and Sweden: Lessons for the United States
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 4 (released November 2011)
by John Jankowski

Analysts have long considered caregiver credits, or pension credits, provided to individuals for time spent out of the workforce caring for dependent children and sick or elderly relatives, as a way to improve the adequacy of retirement benefits for women in the United States. This article examines the experiences of France, Germany, and Sweden with caregiver credits, focusing particularly on the design, administration, and cost of these programs.

Behavioral and Psychological Aspects of the Retirement Decision
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 4 (released November 2011)
by Melissa A. Z. Knoll

The majority of research dealing with the retirement decision has focused on the health and wealth aspects of retirement. Research in the areas of judgment and decision making and behavioral economics suggests that there may be a number of behavioral factors that influence the retirement decision as well. This review highlights such factors and offers a unique perspective on potential determinants of retirement behavior, including anchoring and framing effects, affective forecasting, hyperbolic discounting, and the planning fallacy. The author describes findings from previous research, as well as draws novel connections between existing decision-making research and the retirement decision.

Widows and Social Security
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 70 No. 3 (released August 2010)
by David A. Weaver

This article provides policymakers with context for understanding past and future policy discussions regarding Social Security widow benefits. Using data from household surveys, projections from a microsimulation model, and recent research, it examines three types of benefits—those for aged widows, widows caring for children, and disabled widows.

Earnings Sharing in Social Security: Projected Impacts of Alternative Proposals Using the MINT Model
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 1 (released May 2009)
by Howard M. Iams, Gayle L. Reznik, and Christopher R. Tamborini

Earnings sharing is an alternate method of calculating Social Security retirement benefits whereby earnings are assumed to be shared by married couples. This article presents a microsimulation analysis to estimate the impact of three earnings sharing proposals on the aged population of married, divorced, and widowed men and women in 2030. The impact of earnings sharing differs by marital status and sex, as measured by the percentage change in benefits and by the percentage of beneficiaries with increased and reduced benefits.

Alternate Measures of Replacement Rates for Social Security Benefits and Retirement Income
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 2 (released October 2008)
by Andrew G. Biggs and Glenn R. Springstead

Replacement rates are common and useful tools used by individuals and policy analysts to plan for retirement and assess the sufficiency of Social Security benefits and overall retirement income. Because the calculation and meaning of replacement rates differs depending on the definition of preretirement earnings, this article examines four alternative measures: final preretirement earnings, constant income payable from the present value of lifetime earnings (PV payment), wage-indexed average of lifetime earnings, and inflation-adjusted average of lifetime earnings (CPI average). The article also calculates replacement rates for Social Security beneficiaries aged 64–66 in 2005.

Women, Marriage, and Social Security Benefits Revisited
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 4 (released May 2008)
by Christopher R. Tamborini and Kevin Whitman

This article uses a Restricted-Use File of the 2001 Marital History Topical Module to the U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to examine women's marital histories in relation to Social Security spouse and widow benefit eligibility. To assess marital trends over time, the authors compare SIPP estimates to data reported in Iams and Ycas. 1988 article, "Women, Marriage and Social Security Benefits," which used the 1985 Marital History Supplement to the Current Population Survey. The results shed light on important links between sociodemographic trends in marriage and Social Security beneficiaries. Over three-fourths of women aged 40 to 69 in 2001 already had marital histories that guarantee them the option of a spouse or widow benefit at retirement. However, a smaller proportion of these women would be potentially eligible to receive spouse or widow benefits compared to their counterparts in 1985 due to changes in patterns in marriage, particularly among younger women in the baby-boom cohort. Notable shifts include rising proportions of currently divorced women without a 10-year marriage and never-married women.

The Never-Married in Old Age: Projections and Concerns for the Near Future
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 2 (released February 2008)
by Christopher R. Tamborini

This article focuses on a growing yet understudied subgroup of the elderly in the United States—the never-married. The first section, based on data from the Current Population Survey and a review of the academic literature, examines the current circumstances of never-married retirees, particularly their economic and health well-being. The succeeding section uses the Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT) model to assess the projected (1) changes in the marital status composition of the future retirement-age population; (2) demographics of future never-married retirees, and (3) economic well-being of never-married retirees. The results highlight important links between marital trends, Social Security, and retirement outcomes and offer insight into some of the characteristics of current and future never-married retirees.

Poverty-level Annuitization Requirements in Social Security Proposals Incorporating Personal Retirement Accounts
Issue Paper No. 2005-01 (released April 2005)
by Dave Shoffner, Andrew G. Biggs, and Preston Jacobs

In the current discussions of Social Security reform, voluntary personal retirement accounts have been proposed. Recent research and debate have focused on several aspects of these accounts, including how such accounts would affect aggregate saving, system finances, and benefit levels. Little attention, however, has been paid to policies that would govern the distribution of account balances. This analysis considers such policies with respect to the annuitization of account balances at retirement using the Social Security Administration's Modeling Income in the New Term (MINT) model and a modified version of a recent legislative proposal to evaluate the effects of partial annuitization requirements.

The Widow(er)'s Limit Provision of Social Security
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 64 No. 1 (released April 2002)
by David A. Weaver

The widow(er)'s limit provision of Social Security establishes caps on the benefit amounts of widow(er)s whose deceased spouse filed for early retirement benefits. Currently, 33 percent of Social Security's 8.1 million widow(er) beneficiaries have lower benefits because of that provision. This article describes the widow(er)'s limit provision and evaluates options for changing it.

The Widow(er)'s Limit Provision of Social Security
ORES Working Paper No. 92 (released June 2001)
by David A. Weaver

The widow(er)'s limit provision of Social Security establishes caps on the benefit amounts of widow(er)s whose deceased spouse filed for early retirement benefits. Currently, 33 percent of Social Security's 8.1 million widow(er) beneficiaries have lower benefits because of that provision. This paper describes the widow(er)'s limit provision and evaluates proposed changes to it. The proposals considered range from the modest (allowing widow(er)s to receive adjustments to the capped amounts by delaying receipt of benefits) to the substantial (abolishing the widow(er)'s limit).

Women, Marriage, and Social Security Benefits
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 51 No. 5 (released May 1988)
by Howard M. Iams and Martynas A. Yčas
Health Care Coverage of Survivor Families With Children: Determinants and Consequences
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 47 No. 2 (released February 1984)
by Philip B. Springer
Knowledge of Social Security: Survivor Families With Young Children
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 46 No. 12 (released December 1983)
by Julian Abbott
Aged Widows and OASDI: Age At and Economic Status Before and After Receipt of Benefits
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 44 No. 3 (released March 1981)
by Gayle Thompson Rogers
Impact on Widows of Proposed Changes in OASI Mother's Benefits
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 44 No. 2 (released February 1981)
by Susan Grad
Demographic and Economic Differences in Survivor Experiences of Nonwhite and White Families
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 43 No. 2 (released February 1980)
by Gordon F. Sutton
Support Systems of Widows in the Chicago Area
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 41 No. 1 (released January 1978)
by Helena Znaniecka Lopata
Widowed-Father Beneficiaries
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 40 No. 2 (released February 1977)
by Barbara A. Lingg
Young Widows and Their Children: A Comparative Report
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 38 No. 5 (released May 1975)
by Lucy B. Mallan
Benefits for Grandchildren and Certain Blind Persons Under 1972 Amendments
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 37 No. 6 (released June 1974)
by Barbara A. Lingg
Study of Benefits for Survivors of UAW Members in Detroit Areas
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 32 No. 11 (released November 1969)
by Eugene L. Loren and Thomas C. Barker
Arkansas Missile-Site Disaster: Survivor Benefits Payable
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 29 No. 4 (released April 1966)
by George I. Kowalczyk
Benefits for Survivors of Men Lost on the U.S.S. Thresher
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 27 No. 2 (released February 1964)
by George I. Kowalczyk
Money Income Sources of Young Survivors, December 1960
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 24 No. 10 (released October 1961)
by Mollie Orshansky
Income of Young Survivors, December 1958
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 22 No. 9 (released September 1959)
by Mollie Orshansky
Money Income Sources for Young Survivors, December 1957
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 21 No. 8 (released August 1958)
by Lenore A. Epstein
Survivor Benefit Protection for Federal Judges
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 20 No. 4 (released April 1957)
by Paul W. Nowlin
Money Income Sources for Young Survivors
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 19 No. 8 (released August 1956)
by Lenore A. Epstein
Deaths Represented in Social Insurance Survivor Benefit Awards
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 19 No. 8 (released August 1956)
by Robert J. Myers
Survivor Benefits After Disaster: An Actuarial Analysis
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 17 No. 2 (released February 1954)
by Robert J. Myers
Survivor Protection, West Frankfort Mine Disaster
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 15 No. 4 (released April 1952)
Survivor Protection as of January 1, 1951
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 15 No. 1 (released January 1952)
Economic Status of Aged Persons and Dependent Survivors
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 14 No. 6 (released June 1951)
Benefit Suspensions and "Dry Spells" When Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Beneficiaries Go to Work
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 7, No. 12 (released December 1944)
by Mignon Sauber
Family Resources To Meet Costs of a Worker's Last Illness and Death
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 7, No. 3 (released March 1944)
by Janet Leland
Age, Sex, and Color of Wage Earners for Whom Death Claims Were Certified in 1937
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 2, No. 7 (released July 1939)
by Willard C. Smith and Katherine D. Wood
Veterans
Military Veterans and Social Security: 2010 Update
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 2 (released May 2011)
by Anya Olsen and Samantha O'Leary

More than one 1 of 5 adult Social Security beneficiaries has served in the military, and veterans and their families comprise 35 percent of the beneficiary population. Using data from the March 2010 Current Population Survey (CPS), this article presents the sociodemographic characteristics of the veteran beneficiary and the total veteran populations. The article draws comparisons with findings from the March 2000 CPS and the March 2004 CPS, and describes trends in the size and demographic makeup of the veteran population using data from the Department of Veterans Affairs' VetPop2007 projection model.

Military Veterans and Social Security
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 66 No. 2 (released May 2006)
by Anya Olsen

About one out of every four adult Social Security beneficiaries has served in the United States military, making military veterans and their families an important group to study. This article provides information on the demographic characteristics of military veterans, including their age, sex, marital status, education, and race and ethnicity. It also examines their economic status by looking at poverty levels and Social Security benefit payments. Information is based on data from the March 2004 Current Population Survey, a large, nationally representative survey of U.S. households.

Military Veterans and Social Security
Research and Statistics Note No. 2001-01 (released February 2001)
by Robert V. Gesumaria and David A. Weaver

Military veterans constitute an important subgroup of Social Security beneficiaries. Because veterans are a large subgroup of Social Security beneficiaries and because policymakers have shown a clear interest in their well-being, it is important to understand how veterans and their dependents are currently faring. This note looks at the characteristics and trends in growth of the veteran and Social Security populations.

Veterans' Legislation in 1968
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 32 No. 4 (released April 1969)
President's Commission on Veterans' Pensions: Recommendations
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 19 No. 8 (released August 1956)
by Michael S. March
Pensions and Compensation to Veterans and Their Dependents
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 5, No. 11 (released November 1942)
by Franklin M. Aaronson
Women
How Do Trends in Women's Labor Force Activity and Marriage Patterns Affect Social Security Replacement Rates?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 4 (released November 2013)
by April Yanyuan Wu, Nadia S. Karamcheva, Alicia H. Munnell, and Patrick J. Purcell

Changes in the role of women in the economy and in the family have affected both the amount and the type of Social Security benefits they receive in retirement. Women's labor force participation rate increased from less than 40 percent in 1950 to more than 70 percent in 2011. Over much of the same period, marriage rates fell and divorce rates rose. This article examines how women's higher earnings and lower marriage rates have affected Social Security replacement rates over time for individuals and for households.

The Growth in Social Security Benefits Among the Retirement-Age Population from Increases in the Cap on Covered Earnings
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 2 (released May 2012)
by Alan L. Gustman, Thomas L. Steinmeier, and Nahid Tabatabai

This article investigates how raising the maximum level of earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax leads to the "leakage" of portions of the additional revenue into higher benefit payments. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, the authors simulate the effects of changes in maximum taxable earnings for cohorts approaching retirement age over a 24-year period. They find, roughly, that almost half of the additional tax revenue from having raised the maximum earnings subject to the payroll tax has leaked into higher benefits.

Raising Household Saving: Does Financial Education Work?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 2 (released May 2012)
by William G. Gale, Benjamin H. Harris, and Ruth Levine

Financial illiteracy is prevalent in the United States, and low levels of financial literacy are associated with poor financial choices and negative economic outcomes. We examine previous work on the effect of financial education on household saving and find mixed results. Workplace financial education seminars positively affect household saving, but the size of this effect varies widely across studies. The effects of other financial education initiatives are less clear, highlighting the need for rigorous econometric evaluation of efforts to improve financial literacy.

The Implications of Marital History Change on Women's Eligibility for Social Security Wife and Widow Benefits, 1990–2009
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 2 (released May 2012)
by Howard M. Iams and Christopher R. Tamborini

Social Security retirement-age benefits in the United States reflect marital histories and lifetime earnings of current and former married couples. We examine women's marital history patterns and spouse and widow benefit eligibility over the past two decades, 1990 and 2009. Our analysis reveals substantial changes in women's marital patterns among the baby boom and generation X cohorts. We find a substantial decline in qualifying marital histories for Social Security spouse and widow benefits. The results reveal considerable variation by race and Hispanic origin.

Caregiver Credits in France, Germany, and Sweden: Lessons for the United States
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 4 (released November 2011)
by John Jankowski

Analysts have long considered caregiver credits, or pension credits, provided to individuals for time spent out of the workforce caring for dependent children and sick or elderly relatives, as a way to improve the adequacy of retirement benefits for women in the United States. This article examines the experiences of France, Germany, and Sweden with caregiver credits, focusing particularly on the design, administration, and cost of these programs.

Military Veterans and Social Security: 2010 Update
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 2 (released May 2011)
by Anya Olsen and Samantha O'Leary

More than one 1 of 5 adult Social Security beneficiaries has served in the military, and veterans and their families comprise 35 percent of the beneficiary population. Using data from the March 2010 Current Population Survey (CPS), this article presents the sociodemographic characteristics of the veteran beneficiary and the total veteran populations. The article draws comparisons with findings from the March 2000 CPS and the March 2004 CPS, and describes trends in the size and demographic makeup of the veteran population using data from the Department of Veterans Affairs' VetPop2007 projection model.

Earnings Sharing in Social Security: Projected Impacts of Alternative Proposals Using the MINT Model
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 1 (released May 2009)
by Howard M. Iams, Gayle L. Reznik, and Christopher R. Tamborini

Earnings sharing is an alternate method of calculating Social Security retirement benefits whereby earnings are assumed to be shared by married couples. This article presents a microsimulation analysis to estimate the impact of three earnings sharing proposals on the aged population of married, divorced, and widowed men and women in 2030. The impact of earnings sharing differs by marital status and sex, as measured by the percentage change in benefits and by the percentage of beneficiaries with increased and reduced benefits.

Cohort Changes in the Retirement Resources of Older Women
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 4 (released March 2009)
by Howard M. Iams, John W. R. Phillips, Kristen Robinson, Lionel P. Deang, and Irena Dushi

This article uses different sources of United States data to focus on the retirement resources of women aged 55–64 in 2004, 1994, and 1984. Notable changes have occurred with women's pathways into retirement resulting from increased education and lifetime work experience. There appear marked cohort differences in potential retirement outcomes.

Chile's Next Generation Pension Reform
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 2 (released October 2008)
by Barbara E. Kritzer

Since its inception in 1981, Chile's system of mandatory individual retirement accounts has become a model for pension reformers around the world. A March 2008 comprehensive pension reform law made major changes that address some key policy challenges including worker coverage, gender equity, pension adequacy, and administrative fees. The cornerstone of the new law sets up a basic universal pension as a supplement to the individual accounts system.

Estimating the First Instance of Substantive-Covered Earnings in the Labor Market
Research and Statistics Note No. 2008-04 (released September 2008)
by Michael Compson
Women, Marriage, and Social Security Benefits Revisited
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 4 (released May 2008)
by Christopher R. Tamborini and Kevin Whitman

This article uses a Restricted-Use File of the 2001 Marital History Topical Module to the U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to examine women's marital histories in relation to Social Security spouse and widow benefit eligibility. To assess marital trends over time, the authors compare SIPP estimates to data reported in Iams and Ycas. 1988 article, "Women, Marriage and Social Security Benefits," which used the 1985 Marital History Supplement to the Current Population Survey. The results shed light on important links between sociodemographic trends in marriage and Social Security beneficiaries. Over three-fourths of women aged 40 to 69 in 2001 already had marital histories that guarantee them the option of a spouse or widow benefit at retirement. However, a smaller proportion of these women would be potentially eligible to receive spouse or widow benefits compared to their counterparts in 1985 due to changes in patterns in marriage, particularly among younger women in the baby-boom cohort. Notable shifts include rising proportions of currently divorced women without a 10-year marriage and never-married women.

The Never-Married in Old Age: Projections and Concerns for the Near Future
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 2 (released February 2008)
by Christopher R. Tamborini

This article focuses on a growing yet understudied subgroup of the elderly in the United States—the never-married. The first section, based on data from the Current Population Survey and a review of the academic literature, examines the current circumstances of never-married retirees, particularly their economic and health well-being. The succeeding section uses the Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT) model to assess the projected (1) changes in the marital status composition of the future retirement-age population; (2) demographics of future never-married retirees, and (3) economic well-being of never-married retirees. The results highlight important links between marital trends, Social Security, and retirement outcomes and offer insight into some of the characteristics of current and future never-married retirees.

The Distributional Consequences of a "No-Action" Scenario: Updated Results
Policy Brief No. 2005-01 (released July 2005)

Under the Social Security program, benefits are paid to retired workers, survivors, and disabled persons out of two trust funds—the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and the Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds. In their 2005 report, the Social Security Trustees projected that the combined OASDI trust funds would be exhausted in 2041. Because the trust funds are used to pay benefits, retirement benefits would have to be reduced somewhat in 2041 and more drastically in 2042.

If no action were taken to strengthen Social Security, the benefit reductions necessitated by the exhaustion of the trust funds would double the poverty rate of Social Security beneficiaries aged 64–78 in 2042, from 1.5 percent to 3.3 percent. However, this increased poverty rate would still be lower than the current poverty rate for beneficiaries aged 62–76, which is 4.6 percent. In addition, the trust funds' exhaustion could lead to lower returns on payroll taxes using traditional "money's-worth" measures.

The Distributional Consequences of a "No-Action" Scenario
Policy Brief No. 2004-01 (released February 2004)
by Andrew G. Biggs

The 2001 report of the Social Security trustees projected that the combined trust funds for the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance programs will be exhausted in 2038. This analysis explains the effects of insolvency on future retirement benefits and poverty rates of beneficiaries if no action is taken to strengthen Social Security.

Divorced Women at Retirement: Projections of Economic Well-Being in the Near Future
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 63 No. 3 (released July 2001)
by Barbara A. Butrica and Howard M. Iams

This article describes the economic resources and economic well-being of future divorced women at retirement using data from the Social Security Administration's project on Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT). The MINT model projects that in the near term, there will be more divorced women of retirement age. Because fewer of those women are projected to meet the 10-year marriage requirement, the proportion of economically vulnerable aged women is expected to increase when the baby boom retires.

A Benefit of One's Own: Older Women's Entitlement to Social Security Retirement
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 63 No. 3 (released July 2001)
by Philip B. Levine, Olivia S. Mitchell, and John W. R. Phillips

Using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and linked administrative records, we explore differences in old-age benefits between men and women attributable to differences in length of work life and pay. We find that most women are fully insured for Social Security purposes, but those who are not would have to work substantially more to become eligible. Among those who are eligible, additional work would translate into only slightly higher benefits.

Reducing Poverty Among Elderly Women
ORES Working Paper No. 87 (released January 2001)
by Michael A. Anzick and David A. Weaver

Although the Social Security program has substantially reduced poverty among older Americans, 17.3 percent of nonmarried elderly women (widowed, divorced, or never married) are living in poverty today. This paper explores several policy options designed to reduce poverty by enhancing Social Security widow(er)'s benefits, Supplemental Security Income benefits, and Social Security's special minimum benefit. Depending on the option, 40 percent to 58 percent of the additional federal spending would be directed to the poor or near poor.

Analysis of Social Security Proposals Intended to Help Women: Preliminary Results
ORES Working Paper No. 88 (released January 2001)
by Sharmila Choudhury, Michael V. Leonesio, Kelvin R. Utendorf, Linda Del Bene, and Robert V. Gesumaria

One aspect of the current debate about changing the Social Security program concerns how new rules might affect elderly women, many of whom have low income. This paper examines three possible changes: (1) a reduction in spousal benefits combined with a change in the computation of the survivor benefit, (2) a redefined minimum benefit, and (3) a 5 percent increase in benefits for persons aged 80 or older. The paper assesses the cost, distributional consequences, and antipoverty impact of each option.

Changing Social Security Benefits to Reflect Child-Care Years: A Policy Proposal Whose Time Has Passed?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 57 No. 4 (released October 1994)
by Howard M. Iams and Steven H. Sandell

This article estimates the effects of proposals to increase the retirement benefits of women who reduce their earnings to care for young children. Using the 1990 Survey of Income and Program Participation file—exactly matched to the Social Security Administration's record of lifetime earnings—the authors present the distribution of child-care dropout years by retirement cohort and other demographic characteristics, and estimate the dollar impact of adjustments for caregiving years. The policies examined do increase the retirement benefits of some women, but the increases on average are small, are lowered with each successive retirement cohort, and benefit women from the more privileged socioeconomic groups. Thus, because the policy effects are small and will diminish in the future, the time of efficacy for these proposals has passed. Subsidizing child-care dropout years does not seem to be a well-targeted policy.

The Work and Retirement Decisions of Older Women: A Literature Review
ORES Working Paper No. 61 (released May 1994)
by David A. Weaver

This paper reviews the economic literature on the work and retirement decisions of older women. Economic studies generally find that married women respond to the financial reward for work (for example, wages) in making their work and retirement decisions, but that they do not respond to unearned income and wealth (for example, the value of lifetime Social Security benefits). Unmarried women are found to respond to all type of financial variables. Most economic studies find that the family plays only a limited role in the work and retirement decisions of women. The retirement status of the husband does influence the wife's retirement decision, but the health status of the husband does not. The presence of dependents in the household, regardless of whether they are children or parents, is not found to influence work and retirement among women. The relevance of these results to Social Security policy is discussed.

There are a number of reasons to be cautious about the results. The literature to date is small; it is based on data that are deficient in some respects, and it contains studies that have methodological problems. These problems are discussed and prospects for future research are explored.

Social Security Benefits for Aged Women, December 1993
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 57 No. 2 (released April 1994)
by Barbara A. Lingg
The Work and Retirement Decisions of Older Women: A Literature Review
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 57 No. 1 (released January 1994)
by David A. Weaver
Treatment of Women in the U.S. Social Security System, 1970–88
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 56 No. 3 (released July 1993)
by Jane L. Ross and Melinda M. Upp
Earnings of Couples: A Cohort Analysis
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 56 No. 3 (released July 1993)
by Howard M. Iams
Women Beneficiaries Aged 62 or Older, 1960–88
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 53 No. 7 (released July 1990)
by Barbara A. Lingg
Income and Assets of Social Security Beneficiaries by Type of Benefit
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 52 No. 1 (released January 1989)
by Susan Grad
Retirement-Age Women and Pensions: Findings From the New Beneficiary Survey
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 51 No. 12 (released December 1988)
by John R. Woods
Women, Marriage, and Social Security Benefits
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 51 No. 5 (released May 1988)
by Howard M. Iams and Martynas A. Yčas
Women Social Security Beneficiaries Aged 62 or Older, 1960–85
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 50 No. 3 (released March 1987)
by Barbara A. Lingg
Employment of Retired-Worker Women
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 49 No. 3 (released March 1986)
by Howard M. Iams
Report on the Earnings Sharing Implementation Study
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 48 No. 3 (released March 1985)
Women Social Security Beneficiaries Aged 62 or Older, 1960–83
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 48 No. 2 (released February 1985)
by Barbara A. Lingg
Women and Social Security
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 48 No. 2 (released February 1985)
by Virginia P. Reno
Female Social Security Beneficiaries Aged 62 or Older, 1960–82
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 46 No. 9 (released September 1983)
by Barbara A. Lingg
Mortality of Older Widows and Wives
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 45 No. 10 (released October 1982)
by Bertram Kestenbaum, Greg Diez, Marvin Younger, and Howard Shiman
Social Security Benefits of Female Retired Workers and Two-Worker Couples
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 45 No. 2 (released February 1982)
by Barbara A. Lingg
Benefits for Individual Retired Workers and Couples Now Approaching Retirement Age
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 45 No. 2 (released February 1982)
by Virginia P. Reno and Anne Dee Rader
Labor-Force Participation of Older Married Women
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 43 No. 8 (released August 1980)
by John C. Henretta and Angela M. O'Rand
Women Social Security Beneficiaries Aged 62 and Older, 1960–79
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 43 No. 7 (released July 1980)
by Barbara A. Lingg
Men and Women: Changing Roles and Social Security
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 42 No. 5 (released May 1979)
Task Force Report on Treatment of Women Under Social Security
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 41 No. 5 (released May 1978)
Aged Women OASDI Beneficiaries: Income and Characteristics, 1971
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 40 No. 4 (released April 1977)
by Gayle B. Thompson
Women's Worklives and Future Social Security Benefits
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 39 No. 4 (released April 1976)
by Lucy B. Mallan
Labor-Force Status of Nonmarried Women on the Threshold of Retirement
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 37 No. 9 (released September 1974)
by Sally R. Sherman
Women Born in the Early 1900's: Employment, Earnings, and Benefit Levels
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 37 No. 3 (released March 1974)
by Lucy B. Mallan
Women Newly Entitled to Retired-Worker Benefits: Survey of New Beneficiaries
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 36 No. 4 (released April 1973)
by Virginia P. Reno
Women and Social Security in the United States
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 35 No. 9 (released September 1972)
by Lenore E. Bixby
The Position of Women in the Social Security System
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 32 No. 7 (released July 1969)
by Ella J. Polinsky
Women Household Workers Covered by Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 28 No. 7 (released July 1965)
by Ella J. Polinsky
Relatives in the Household of Mother-Child OASI Beneficiary Groups, 1957 Survey
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 25 No. 6 (released June 1962)
by Earl R. Moses
Age of Wife When Husband Retires
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 18 No. 12 (released December 1955)
by Robert J. Myers
Resources of Widow and Child Beneficiaries in Seven Cities
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 8, No. 11 (released November 1945)
by Marie Correll Malitsky
Gainfully Employed Women in Chicago
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 6, No. 4 (released April 1943)
by Erna Magnus
Other Beneficiaries
Immigrants and Retirement Resources
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 74 No. 1 (released February 2014)
by Purvi Sevak and Lucie Schmidt

In this article, the authors use the Health and Retirement Study to compare retirement resources of the foreign born with those of the native born. They find that immigrants have significantly lower Social Security benefit levels than natives; however, after controlling for demographic characteristics immigrants have higher levels of net worth. The immigrant/native differential in retirement resources varies systematically by number of years in the United States.

African Americans: Description of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income Participation and Benefit Levels Using the American Community Survey
Research and Statistics Note No. 2014-01 (released January 2014)
by Patricia P. Martin and John L. Murphy

The authors use American Community Survey (ACS) data to compare Social Security and Supplemental Security Income program participation and benefit levels of African Americans with those of the general population. The ACS data show that African Americans are more likely to be Supplemental Security Income recipients, and less likely to be Social Security beneficiaries. Higher rates of poverty, disability, and mortality among African Americans mean that they are also more likely to rely on Social Security survivor and disability benefits than are other beneficiaries.

Longitudinal Patterns of Medicaid and Medicare Coverage Among Disability Cash Benefit Awardees
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 3 (released August 2012)
by Kalman Rupp and Gerald F. Riley

This article analyzes the effect of longitudinal interactions between the Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs in providing access to Medicare and Medicaid, using a sample of administrative records spanning 84 months. Our study is the first effort to link and analyze record data on participation in all four of these major, and highly interrelated, public benefit programs in the United States. We find that SSI facilitates high levels of Medicaid coverage for SSI awardees overall and provides access to Medicaid for many DI awardees during the 24-month Medicare waiting period. Many people who exit SSI retain their Medicaid coverage, but the gap in coverage between continuing SSI participants and those who leave the program increases over time. After Medicare kicks in, public health insurance coverage is virtually complete among awardees with some DI involvement, including dual Medicaid and Medicare coverage for some.

The Growth in Social Security Benefits Among the Retirement-Age Population from Increases in the Cap on Covered Earnings
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 2 (released May 2012)
by Alan L. Gustman, Thomas L. Steinmeier, and Nahid Tabatabai

This article investigates how raising the maximum level of earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax leads to the "leakage" of portions of the additional revenue into higher benefit payments. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, the authors simulate the effects of changes in maximum taxable earnings for cohorts approaching retirement age over a 24-year period. They find, roughly, that almost half of the additional tax revenue from having raised the maximum earnings subject to the payroll tax has leaked into higher benefits.

A Profile of Social Security Child Beneficiaries and their Families: Sociodemographic and Economic Characteristics
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 1 (released February 2011)
by Christopher R. Tamborini, Emily Cupito, and Dave Shoffner

This article presents the sociodemographic and economic characteristics of Social Security child beneficiaries. Using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation matched with administrative benefit records, we find important differences in the incidence of child benefit receipt and average benefit amount across a number of individual and family-level characteristics. We also examine the demographic and income characteristics of the three beneficiary types: child of deceased worker, child of disabled worker, and child of retired worker.

Benefits and Beneficiaries Under Public Employee Retirement Systems, Fiscal Year 1989
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 55 No. 2 (released April 1992)
by Ann Kallman Bixby
State and Local Government Workers Covered Under Social Security, 1987
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 55 No. 2 (released April 1992)
by Wayne S. Long
Benefits and Beneficiaries Under Public Employee Retirement Systems, Fiscal Year 1987
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 53 No. 6 (released June 1990)
by Ann Kallman Bixby
Income and Assets of Social Security Beneficiaries by Type of Benefit
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 52 No. 1 (released January 1989)
by Susan Grad
Physically Demanding Occupations, Health, and Work After Retirement: Findings From the New Beneficiary Survey
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 51 No. 11 (released November 1988)
by Karen C. Holden
Benefits and Beneficiaries Under Public Employee Retirement Systems, 1981 and 1982
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 48 No. 4 (released April 1985)
by Ann Kallman Bixby
Benefits and Beneficiaries Under Public Employee Retirement Programs, 1980
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 47 No. 1 (released January 1984)
by Ann Kallman Bixby
Low-Income Energy Assistance Program
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 46 No. 1 (released January 1983)
by Donald E. Rigby and Charles G. Scott
Benefits and Beneficiaries Under Public Employee Retirement Systems, 1979
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 45 No. 12 (released December 1982)
by Ann Kallman Bixby
Foreign-Born Workers Awarded Retirement and Disability Benefits, 1978
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 45 No. 7 (released July 1982)
Characteristics of Newly Awarded Recipients of the Social Security Regular Minimum Benefit
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 45 No. 6 (released June 1982)
by Bruce D. Schobel and Steven F. McKay
Benefits for Individual Retired Workers and Couples Now Approaching Retirement Age
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 45 No. 2 (released February 1982)
by Virginia P. Reno and Anne Dee Rader
Retirement Patterns for Self-Employed Workers
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 43 No. 10 (released October 1980)
by Joseph F. Quinn
Benefits and Beneficiaries Under Public Employee Retirement Systems, Calendar Year 1977
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 43 No. 4 (released April 1980)
by Ann Kallman Bixby and Alma W. McMillan
Allocation of Time and Resources by Married Couples Approaching Retirement
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 43 No. 4 (released April 1980)
by Robert L. Clark, Thomas Johnson, and Ann Archibald McDermed
Labor-Force Participation Patterns of Older Self-Employed Workers
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 43 No. 4 (released April 1980)
by Joseph F. Quinn
Domestic Workers Covered Under OASDHI, 1976
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 43 No. 1 (released January 1980)
by Bertram Kestenbaum
Educational and Economic Characteristics of Student Beneficiaries: Black-White Differences
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 42 No. 9 (released September 1979)
by Diane Huntley
Experience of Federal Annuitants Under OASDHI: Age and Sex
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 42 No. 7 (released July 1979)
by Daniel N. Price
OASDHI-Covered Earnings of Indochina Refugees, 1976
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 42 No. 3 (released March 1979)
by Harold A. Grossman
Earnings Replacement Rates of Retired Couples: Findings From the Retirement History Study
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 42 No. 1 (released January 1979)
by Alan Fox
Student OASDI Beneficiaries: Program Utilization and Educational Aspirations
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 41 No. 9 (released September 1978)
by Robert I. K. Hastings
OASDHI-Covered Earnings Indochina Refugees, 1975
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 41 No. 6 (released June 1978)
by Harold A. Grossman
Federal Civil-Service Annuitants and Social Security, December 1975
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 40 No. 11 (released November 1977)
by Daniel N. Price and Andrea Novotny
Thirteenth Valuation of the Railroad Retirement System
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 40 No. 1 (released January 1977)
by R. E. Larson
Social Security Benefits for Students, 1965–75
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 39 No. 11 (released November 1976)
by Barbara A. Lingg
Characteristics of Student OASDI Beneficiaries in 1973: An Overview
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 39 No. 11 (released November 1976)
by Philip B. Springer
Social Security Beneficiaries with Spanish Surnames in the Southwest
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 39 No. 10 (released October 1976)
by George Stepanovich
Cost-of-Living Increases for Railroad Retirement Benefits
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 39 No. 7 (released July 1976)
Railroad Unemployment and Sickness Benefit Amendments of 1975
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 38 No. 11 (released November 1975)
by Andrea Novotny
Restructuring the Railroad Retirement System
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 38 No. 4 (released April 1975)
by Alfred M. Skolnik
Retroactive Entitlement of Retired-Worker Beneficiaries Awarded Benefits in 1971
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 38 No. 1 (released January 1975)
by Barbara A. Lingg
Earnings Replacement Rate of Old-Age Pensions for Workers Retiring at End of 1972
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 37 No. 12 (released December 1974)
by Leif Haanes-Olsen and Max Horlick
Concurrent Supplemental Security Income Payments and OASDI Cash Benefits
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 37 No. 12 (released December 1974)
by Lenna D. Kennedy
Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 37 No. 3 (released March 1974)
by Marjorie Smith Mueller
Social Security Student and Former Child Beneficiaries Aged 18–21
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 37 No. 3 (released March 1974)
by Patricia Ruggles and Carol Zuckert
Twelfth Valuation of the Railroad Retirement System: A Summary View
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 36 No. 12 (released December 1973)
by Abraham M. Niessen
Late Entitlement to Retirement Benefits: Findings from the Survey of New Beneficiaries
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 36 No. 7 (released July 1973)
by Leonard Rubin
Recommendations of the Commission on Railroad Retirement
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 35 No. 11 (released November 1972)
School Attendance Patterns of Student Beneficiaries
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 34 No. 10 (released October 1971)
by Barbara A. Kirsch
Beneficiaries With Minimum Benefits: Work-History of Retired Workers Newly Entitled in 1966
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 32 No. 12 (released December 1969)
by Judith S. Bretz
Beneficiaries With Minimum Benefits: Their Characteristics in 1967
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 32 No. 10 (released October 1969)
by Harry Shulman
Student Beneficiaries Under OASDHI, 1965–68
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 32 No. 9 (released September 1969)
Social Security Service to American Indians
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 32 No. 7 (released July 1969)
by Anne Hamilton
Benefits Paid Abroad Under OASDHI
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 32 No. 2 (released February 1969)
by William M. Yoffee
Young Adults and Social Security
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 31 No. 8 (released August 1968)
by Ida C. Merriam
OASDHI Covered Employment of Foreign Beneficiaries
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 30 No. 10 (released October 1967)
State and Local Government Retirement Systems, 1966: Provisions for Employees Not Under OASDHI
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 30 No. 9 (released September 1967)
by Saul Waldman
Special Awards to Persons 72 and Over, Oct.Dec. 1966
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 30 No. 8 (released August 1967)
by William T. Rabin
Farmers and Social Security
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 29 No. 3 (released March 1966)
by Edward I. Reinsel and John C. Ellickson
Family Benefits in Current-Payment Status, June 30, 1963
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 27 No. 3 (released March 1964)
by Roger Hicks
Concurrent Receipt of Public Assistance and Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance, Early 1962
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 26 No. 3 (released March 1963)
by Gertrude B. Morton
Family Benefits in Current-Payment Status, June 30, 1962
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 26 No. 2 (released February 1963)
by Roger Hicks
Relatives in the Household of Mother-Child OASI Beneficiary Groups, 1957 Survey
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 25 No. 6 (released June 1962)
by Earl R. Moses
Coverage of Ministers Under Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 24 No. 4 (released April 1961)
by Saul Waldman
Coverage of State and Local Government Employees Under OASDI
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 23 No. 1 (released January 1960)
Workers Covered Jointly by Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and the Railroad Retirement Program, 1937–52
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 19 No. 2 (released February 1956)
by Marie M. Delaney
Civil Service Retirement Act Amendments, 1955
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 18 No. 11 (released November 1955)
Civil Service Retirement Act Amendments, 1954
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 18 No. 7 (released July 1955)
The Railroad Retirement Act in 1954
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 18 No. 2 (released February 1955)
by Robert J. Myers and John A. MacDougall
Old Age and Retirement in Agriculture
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 17 No. 5 (released May 1954)
Nonrelief Income of Retired Insurance Beneficiaries in Boston
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 11, No. 9 (released September 1948)
Old-Age and Survivors Insurance for Agricultural and Domestic Workers and the Self-Employed
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 11, No. 1 (released January 1948)
Resources of Widow and Child Beneficiaries in Seven Cities
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 8, No. 11 (released November 1945)
by Marie Correll Malitsky
Paternal Orphans
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 8, No. 10 (released October 1945)
by Thomas J. Woofter, Jr.
Living Arrangements of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Beneficiaries in St. Louis
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 8, No. 9 (released September 1945)
by Edna C. Wentworth
Family Relationships and Old-Age and Survivors Insurance
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 8, No. 7 (released July 1945)
by Oscar C. Pogge
Social Security for "Industrialized" Agriculture
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 8, No. 3 (released March 1945)
by Arthur J. Altmeyer
Social Security for Domestic Employees
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 8, No. 1 (released January 1945)
by Arthur J. Altmeyer
The Second Actuarial Valuation fo the Railroad Retirement Act
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 7, No. 5 (released May 1944)
Resources of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Beneficiaries in Three Southern Cities
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 6, No. 9 (released September 1943)
by Marie Correll Malitsky
Farmers and Farm Laborers in Employment Covered by Old-Age and Survivors Insurance
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 6, No. 6 (released June 1943)
by Fred Safier, John Useem, and Walter Quinn
Wartime Federal Civilian Employees and Old-Age and Survivors Insurance
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 5, No. 7 (released July 1942)
by D. C. Bronson
The Agricultural Wage Worker In Employment Covered by Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 7 (released July 1941)
by Fred Safier, Walter Quinn, and Edward J. Fitzgerald
Benefits and Beneficiaries Under the Civil Service Retirement Act
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 4 (released April 1941)
by Ruth Reticker

Decision to Retire

Incentivizing Delayed Claiming of Social Security Retirement Benefits Before Reaching the Full Retirement Age
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 74 No. 4 (released November 2014)
by Melissa A. Z. Knoll and Anya Olsen

Claiming Social Security retirement benefits before the full retirement age (FRA) results in permanently lower benefits, while delaying claiming permanently increases benefits. This article uses Modeling Income in the Near Term data to determine the socioeconomic characteristics of individuals who claim at various ages. The authors then describe a number of novel approaches aimed at encouraging individuals to delay claiming in the months and years before reaching their FRA. Lastly, the authors model one of those approaches to examine how a 1-year delay in claiming affects benefits and poverty in the future.

Modeling Behavioral Responses to Eliminating the Retirement Earnings Test
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 1 (released February 2013)
by Anya Olsen and Kathleen Romig

The retirement earnings test (RET) is an often-misunderstood aspect of the Social Security program. Policymakers have proposed reforming the RET as a way to encourage working at older ages. However, this could also cause earlier benefit claiming. We use Modeling Income in the Near Term data to analyze the complete repeal of the earnings test for beneficiaries aged 60 or older, first assuming no behavioral responses to repeal and secondly assuming changes to benefit claiming and workforce participation behaviors. Our lifetime results show that the assumed behavioral response—particularly the benefit claiming change—has a bigger effect than the RET policy change itself.

Mortality Differentials by Lifetime Earnings Decile: Implications for Evaluations of Proposed Social Security Law Changes
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 1 (released February 2013)
by Hilary Waldron

Under current law, the link between earnings and benefit levels and the equal application of age-of-entitlement rules, regardless of earnings levels, means that a worker is never penalized for additional work or thrift. This article finds that the Social Security–insured population does not fall neatly into a low-earnings poor health group and a remaining good health group. Attempts to target a subset of badly disadvantaged workers by altering the benefit rules that apply equally to everyone could both miss the intended target and introduce work disincentives into a program currently designed to reward work.

How Did the Recession of 2007–2009 Affect the Wealth and Retirement of the Near Retirement Age Population in the Health and Retirement Study?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 4 (released November 2012)
by Alan L. Gustman, Thomas L. Steinmeier, and Nahid Tabatabai

This article uses household wealth and labor market data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to investigate how the recent "Great Recession" has affected the wealth and retirement of the Early Boomer cohort, those in the population who were just approaching retirement age at the beginning of the recession. The retirement wealth of people aged 53–58 before the onset of the recession in 2006 declined by a relatively modest 2.8 percent by 2010. For members of older cohorts, wealth had increased by about 5 percent over a comparable age span. The wealth holdings of poorer households were least affected by the recession. Relative losses were greatest for those who initially had the highest wealth when the recession began. The retirement behavior of the Early Boomer cohort looks similar, at least to date, to the behavior observed for members of older cohorts at comparable ages.

Factors Affecting Initial Disability Allowance Rates for the Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income Programs: The Role of the Demographic and Diagnostic Composition of Applicants and Local Labor Market Conditions
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 4 (released November 2012)
by Kalman Rupp

Various factors outside the control of decision makers may affect the rate at which disability applications are allowed or denied during the initial step of eligibility determination in the Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. This article, using individual-level data on applications, focuses on the role of three important factors—the demographic characteristics of applicants, the diagnostic mix of applicants, and the local unemployment rate—in affecting the probability of an initial allowance and state allowance rates. A random sample of initial determination administrative records for the 1993–2008 period is used for the analysis in a fixed-effects multiple regression framework. The empirical results show that the demographic and diagnostic characteristics of applicants and the local unemployment rate substantially affect the initial allowance rate. An increase in the local unemployment rate tends to be associated with a decrease in the initial allowance rate. This negative relationship holds for adult applicants in both the DI and SSI programs and for SSI childhood applicants.

Raising Household Saving: Does Financial Education Work?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 2 (released May 2012)
by William G. Gale, Benjamin H. Harris, and Ruth Levine

Financial illiteracy is prevalent in the United States, and low levels of financial literacy are associated with poor financial choices and negative economic outcomes. We examine previous work on the effect of financial education on household saving and find mixed results. Workplace financial education seminars positively affect household saving, but the size of this effect varies widely across studies. The effects of other financial education initiatives are less clear, highlighting the need for rigorous econometric evaluation of efforts to improve financial literacy.

Behavioral and Psychological Aspects of the Retirement Decision
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 4 (released November 2011)
by Melissa A. Z. Knoll

The majority of research dealing with the retirement decision has focused on the health and wealth aspects of retirement. Research in the areas of judgment and decision making and behavioral economics suggests that there may be a number of behavioral factors that influence the retirement decision as well. This review highlights such factors and offers a unique perspective on potential determinants of retirement behavior, including anchoring and framing effects, affective forecasting, hyperbolic discounting, and the planning fallacy. The author describes findings from previous research, as well as draws novel connections between existing decision-making research and the retirement decision.

What Can We Learn from Analyzing Historical Data on Social Security Entitlements?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 4 (released November 2011)
by Joyce Manchester and Jae G. Song

Data from administrative records of the Social Security Administration allow us to examine patterns of initial entitlement to Old-Age Insurance benefits as well as Disability Insurance benefits. We follow cohorts born in different years over their lifetimes to identify changes in entitlements by age over time. Breaking out single birth cohorts shows close adherence in entitlement ages to rule changes as well as increasing shares of cohorts relying on the Disability Insurance program in middle age.

The Research Contributions of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 4 (released December 2009)
by Steven A. Sass

This article reviews the research contributions of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College over its 10-year history and their implications for Social Security and retirement income policy in three major areas: (1) Social Security's long-term financing shortfall, (2) the adequacy of retirement incomes, and (3) labor force participation at older ages as a means to improve retirement income security. The center has received substantial funding support from the Social Security Administration (SSA) in each area and has also successfully leveraged SSA's investment by attracting funding from other sources.

Trends in Mortality Differentials and Life Expectancy for Male Social Security-Covered Workers, by Socioeconomic Status
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 3 (released April 2008)
by Hilary Waldron

This article presents an analysis of trends in mortality differentials and life expectancy by socioeconomic status for male Social Security-covered workers aged 60 or older. Mortality differentials, cohort life expectancies, and period life expectancies by average relative earnings are estimated. Period life expectancy estimates for the United States are also compared with those of other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

Have People Delayed Claiming Retirement Benefits? Responses to Changes in Social Security Rules
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 2 (released February 2008)
by Jae G. Song and Joyce Manchester

Using a 1 percent sample of Social Security Administration data, this article documents and analyzes responses in the entitlement age for old-age benefits following the recent changes in Social Security rules. Both rules, the removal of the retirement earnings test (RET) for persons who are at the full retirement age (FRA) through age 69 in 2000 or later and a gradual increase in the FRA for those who reach age 62 in 2000 or later, are expected to affect the age at which people claim Social Security retirement benefits (or entitlement age) and the work behavior of older Americans.

New Evidence on Earnings and Benefit Claims Following Changes in the Retirement Earnings Test in 2000
ORES Working Paper No. 107 (released June 2006)
by Jae G. Song and Joyce Manchester

In April 2000, Congress enacted the Senior Citizens Freedom to Work Act of 2000, which removed the retirement earnings test for individuals at the full retirement age and older. This paper examines the labor force activity of workers aged 65–69 relative to older and younger workers in response to the removal of the earnings test. We use the 1 percent sample of Social Security administrative data that covers the period from 4 years before to 4 years following the removal of the test. Quantile regression methods allow us to identify the earnings levels of workers who change their work effort.

Retirement and Wealth
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 64 No. 2 (released September 2002)
by Alan L. Gustman and Thomas L. Steinmeier

This article analyzes the relationship between retirement and wealth. Using data from the first four waves of the longitudinal Health and Retirement Study—a cohort of individuals born from 1931 to 1941—we estimate reduced-form retirement and wealth equations. Our results show that those who retire earlier do not necessarily save more and that even if one's primary interest is in the relationship between Social Security policy and the decision to retire, it is important to incorporate saving behavior and other key decisions into the analysis.

The Economics of Retirement: A Nontechnical Guide
ORES Working Paper No. 66 (released April 1995)
by Michael V. Leonesio

This paper provides a nontechnical explanation of the basic ideas that underpin economists' thinking about work and retirement decisions and discusses and elaborates on the basic economic model of retirement. The paper begins with a simple economic model of an individual's work decision, to explain the construction and logic of this model, and to show how the model can be used to make basic predictions about factors that might plausibly affect the timing of retirement. From this starting point—which essentially describes the economic retirement models before the late 1970s—the paper then explains how the model has been extended during the past 2 decades. The increasing sophistication and complexity of the models reflect scientific progress in which new retirement research incorporates the findings of previous efforts, the desire to incorporate more realism into the models, and the availability of improved data. The progress in economic modeling is emphasized as the contributions of various influential studies are reviewed.

The Work and Retirement Decisions of Older Women: A Literature Review
ORES Working Paper No. 61 (released May 1994)
by David A. Weaver

This paper reviews the economic literature on the work and retirement decisions of older women. Economic studies generally find that married women respond to the financial reward for work (for example, wages) in making their work and retirement decisions, but that they do not respond to unearned income and wealth (for example, the value of lifetime Social Security benefits). Unmarried women are found to respond to all type of financial variables. Most economic studies find that the family plays only a limited role in the work and retirement decisions of women. The retirement status of the husband does influence the wife's retirement decision, but the health status of the husband does not. The presence of dependents in the household, regardless of whether they are children or parents, is not found to influence work and retirement among women. The relevance of these results to Social Security policy is discussed.

There are a number of reasons to be cautious about the results. The literature to date is small; it is based on data that are deficient in some respects, and it contains studies that have methodological problems. These problems are discussed and prospects for future research are explored.

The Work and Retirement Decisions of Older Women: A Literature Review
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 57 No. 1 (released January 1994)
by David A. Weaver
Social Security and Older Workers
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 56 No. 2 (released April 1993)
by Michael V. Leonesio
Social Security and Older Workers
ORES Working Paper No. 53 (released December 1991)
by Michael V. Leonesio

Many observers have noted that the long-term decline in labor force participation by older Americans may reflect the evolution of social institutions that effectively discourage work. Often-cited factors include employer discrimination against older workers, private pension plans that penalize continued employment, and the Social Security system. Various policies, such as eliminating Social Security's retirement test, have been proposed with a view to eliminating or lessening employment barriers.

This paper summarizes the economic evidence that addresses the role played by the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) programs in retirement decisions. OASI is shown to have statistically significant effects on both the timing of retirement and the amount of post-retirement work; however, the influence is not large relative to the many other factors that determine the labor-supply decisions of older workers. Consequently, changes in Social Security policy of the type and magnitude that are politically feasible are unlikely to result in large changes in retirement behavior.

The Demand for Older Workers: The Neglected Side of a Labor Market
ORES Working Paper No. 52 (released September 1991)
by John W. Straka

Despite extensive study of the work and retirement decisions of older individuals, the nature of employers' demand for older workers remains relatively unexplored. This paper investigates the plausibility, pervasiveness, and causes of limited employment opportunities for older workers by examining age discrimination, long-term employment relationships, and partial-retirement work options. The central theme is that much of the differential treatment of older workers that persists over time is likely to be part of a privately efficient, economic equilibrium. Provisional implications for Social Security and age-work policy choices are drawn.

Economic Retirement Studies: An Annotated Bibliography
ORES Working Paper No. 45 (released July 1990)
by Michael V. Leonesio

This bibliography is a by-product of preparing a review of the economic literature on the effect of Social Security's retirement program on the labor supply of older workers. In the course of organizing a set of scribbled notes, the outline of the current document began to take shape. Several colleagues found earlier, incomplete drafts of these notes to be of some value in their own work, and encouraged me to offer them to a wider audience.

These notes are intended to provide a helpful overview of the models, data sources, and statistical procedures used by economists in recent years to investigate the work-retirement decision.

Reported Reasons Retired Workers Left Their Last Job: Findings From the New Beneficiary Survey
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 48 No. 3 (released March 1985)
by Sally R. Sherman
Why Do People Retire From Work Early?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 45 No. 9 (released September 1982)
by Robert J. Myers
Mandatory Retirement and Labor-Force Participation of Respondents in the Retirement History Study
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 43 No. 11 (released November 1980)
by David T. Barker and Robert L. Clark
Retirement Patterns for Self-Employed Workers
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 43 No. 10 (released October 1980)
by Joseph F. Quinn
Allocation of Time and Resources by Married Couples Approaching Retirement
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 43 No. 4 (released April 1980)
by Robert L. Clark, Thomas Johnson, and Ann Archibald McDermed
New Retirees and the Stability of the Retirement Decision
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 40 No. 3 (released March 1977)
Questions on Social Security and the Future Work Force
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 39 No. 8 (released August 1976)
by Virginia P. Reno
Covered Employment and the Age Men Claim Retirement Benefits
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 37 No. 4 (released April 1974)
by Julian Abbott
Compulsory Retirement Among Newly Entitled Workers: Survey of New Beneficiaries
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 35 No. 3 (released March 1972)
by Virginia P. Reno
Why Men Stop Working At or Before Age 65: Findings from the Survey of New Beneficiaries
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 34 No. 6 (released June 1971)
by Virginia P. Reno
Study on Early Retirement Decision
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 32 No. 8 (released August 1969)
by Richard Barfield, George Katona, and James Morgan
Why Do Beneficiaries Retire? Who Among Them Return to Work?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 18 No. 5 (released May 1955)
by Margaret L. Stecker
Beneficiaries Prefer to Work
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 14 No. 1 (released January 1951)
by Margaret L. Stecker
Why Beneficiaries Retire
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 8, No. 1 (released January 1945)
by Edna C. Wentworth

Early Retirement

Incentivizing Delayed Claiming of Social Security Retirement Benefits Before Reaching the Full Retirement Age
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 74 No. 4 (released November 2014)
by Melissa A. Z. Knoll and Anya Olsen

Claiming Social Security retirement benefits before the full retirement age (FRA) results in permanently lower benefits, while delaying claiming permanently increases benefits. This article uses Modeling Income in the Near Term data to determine the socioeconomic characteristics of individuals who claim at various ages. The authors then describe a number of novel approaches aimed at encouraging individuals to delay claiming in the months and years before reaching their FRA. Lastly, the authors model one of those approaches to examine how a 1-year delay in claiming affects benefits and poverty in the future.

Modeling Behavioral Responses to Eliminating the Retirement Earnings Test
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 1 (released February 2013)
by Anya Olsen and Kathleen Romig

The retirement earnings test (RET) is an often-misunderstood aspect of the Social Security program. Policymakers have proposed reforming the RET as a way to encourage working at older ages. However, this could also cause earlier benefit claiming. We use Modeling Income in the Near Term data to analyze the complete repeal of the earnings test for beneficiaries aged 60 or older, first assuming no behavioral responses to repeal and secondly assuming changes to benefit claiming and workforce participation behaviors. Our lifetime results show that the assumed behavioral response—particularly the benefit claiming change—has a bigger effect than the RET policy change itself.

Mortality Differentials by Lifetime Earnings Decile: Implications for Evaluations of Proposed Social Security Law Changes
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 1 (released February 2013)
by Hilary Waldron

Under current law, the link between earnings and benefit levels and the equal application of age-of-entitlement rules, regardless of earnings levels, means that a worker is never penalized for additional work or thrift. This article finds that the Social Security–insured population does not fall neatly into a low-earnings poor health group and a remaining good health group. Attempts to target a subset of badly disadvantaged workers by altering the benefit rules that apply equally to everyone could both miss the intended target and introduce work disincentives into a program currently designed to reward work.

Mind the Gap: The Distributional Effects of Raising the Early Eligibility Age and Full Retirement Age
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 4 (released November 2012)
by Anya Olsen

Policymakers have proposed increases to the early eligibility age (EEA) and/or full retirement age (FRA) to address increasing life expectancy and Social Security solvency issues. This analysis uses the Social Security Administration's Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT) model to compare three retirement-age increases suggested by the Social Security Advisory Board: (1) increase the FRA alone, (2) increase both the EEA and FRA to maintain a 4-year gap between them, and (3) increase both the EEA and FRA to maintain a 5-year gap between them. This distributional analysis shows the impact these varying reforms would have on Social Security beneficiaries in the future.

Raising Household Saving: Does Financial Education Work?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 2 (released May 2012)
by William G. Gale, Benjamin H. Harris, and Ruth Levine

Financial illiteracy is prevalent in the United States, and low levels of financial literacy are associated with poor financial choices and negative economic outcomes. We examine previous work on the effect of financial education on household saving and find mixed results. Workplace financial education seminars positively affect household saving, but the size of this effect varies widely across studies. The effects of other financial education initiatives are less clear, highlighting the need for rigorous econometric evaluation of efforts to improve financial literacy.

Behavioral and Psychological Aspects of the Retirement Decision
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 4 (released November 2011)
by Melissa A. Z. Knoll

The majority of research dealing with the retirement decision has focused on the health and wealth aspects of retirement. Research in the areas of judgment and decision making and behavioral economics suggests that there may be a number of behavioral factors that influence the retirement decision as well. This review highlights such factors and offers a unique perspective on potential determinants of retirement behavior, including anchoring and framing effects, affective forecasting, hyperbolic discounting, and the planning fallacy. The author describes findings from previous research, as well as draws novel connections between existing decision-making research and the retirement decision.

What Can We Learn from Analyzing Historical Data on Social Security Entitlements?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 4 (released November 2011)
by Joyce Manchester and Jae G. Song

Data from administrative records of the Social Security Administration allow us to examine patterns of initial entitlement to Old-Age Insurance benefits as well as Disability Insurance benefits. We follow cohorts born in different years over their lifetimes to identify changes in entitlements by age over time. Breaking out single birth cohorts shows close adherence in entitlement ages to rule changes as well as increasing shares of cohorts relying on the Disability Insurance program in middle age.

Next Generation of Individual Account Pension Reforms in Latin America
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 1 (released February 2011)
by Barbara E. Kritzer, Stephen J. Kay, and Tapen Sinha

This article examines the recent reforms in individual account systems in Latin America, with a focus on the recent overhaul of the Chilean system and major reforms in Mexico, Peru, and Colombia. The authors analyze key elements of pension reform in the region relating to individual accounts: system coverage, fees, competition, investment, the impact of gender on benefits, financial education, voluntary savings, and payouts.

The Research Contributions of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 4 (released December 2009)
by Steven A. Sass

This article reviews the research contributions of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College over its 10-year history and their implications for Social Security and retirement income policy in three major areas: (1) Social Security's long-term financing shortfall, (2) the adequacy of retirement incomes, and (3) labor force participation at older ages as a means to improve retirement income security. The center has received substantial funding support from the Social Security Administration (SSA) in each area and has also successfully leveraged SSA's investment by attracting funding from other sources.

Chile's Next Generation Pension Reform
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 2 (released October 2008)
by Barbara E. Kritzer

Since its inception in 1981, Chile's system of mandatory individual retirement accounts has become a model for pension reformers around the world. A March 2008 comprehensive pension reform law made major changes that address some key policy challenges including worker coverage, gender equity, pension adequacy, and administrative fees. The cornerstone of the new law sets up a basic universal pension as a supplement to the individual accounts system.

Trends in Mortality Differentials and Life Expectancy for Male Social Security-Covered Workers, by Socioeconomic Status
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 3 (released April 2008)
by Hilary Waldron

This article presents an analysis of trends in mortality differentials and life expectancy by socioeconomic status for male Social Security-covered workers aged 60 or older. Mortality differentials, cohort life expectancies, and period life expectancies by average relative earnings are estimated. Period life expectancy estimates for the United States are also compared with those of other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

Retirement and Wealth
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 64 No. 2 (released September 2002)
by Alan L. Gustman and Thomas L. Steinmeier

This article analyzes the relationship between retirement and wealth. Using data from the first four waves of the longitudinal Health and Retirement Study—a cohort of individuals born from 1931 to 1941—we estimate reduced-form retirement and wealth equations. Our results show that those who retire earlier do not necessarily save more and that even if one's primary interest is in the relationship between Social Security policy and the decision to retire, it is important to incorporate saving behavior and other key decisions into the analysis.

Do Early Retirees Die Early? Evidence from Three Independent Data Sets
ORES Working Paper No. 97 (released July 2002)
by Hilary Waldron

In a 2001 working paper, Links Between Early Retirement and Mortality (ORES Working Paper No. 93), the author used cross-sectional Current Population Survey (CPS) matched to longitudinal Social Security administration data and found that men who retire early die sooner than men who retire at age 65 or older. Estimates of relative mortality risk control for current age, year of birth, education, marital status in 1973, and race, and the sample is restricted to men who have lived to at least age 65.

This paper uses the 1982 New Beneficiary Survey and a 1 percent extract of the Social Security Administration's year 2000 Master Beneficiary Records to test whether the mortality differentials reported in the author's earlier work can be replicated in other independent data sets.

Links Between Early Retirement and Mortality
ORES Working Paper No. 93 (released August 2001)
by Hilary Waldron

In this paper, the author uses the 1973 cross-sectional Current Population Survey (CPS) matched to longitudinal Social Security administrative data (through 1998) to examine the relationship between retirement age and mortality for men who have lived to at least age 65 by 1997 or earlier. Logistic regression results indicate that controlling for current age, year of birth, education, marital status in 1973, and race, men who retire early die sooner than men who retire at age 65 or older. A positive correlation between age of retirement and life expectancy may suggest that retirement age is correlated with health in the 1973 CPS; however, the 1973 CPS data do not provide the ability to test that hypothesis directly.

Early Retirees Under Social Security: Health Status and Economic Resources
ORES Working Paper No. 86 (released August 2000)
by Michael V. Leonesio, Denton R. Vaughan, and Bernard Wixon

Some proposals to change the Social Security program to ensure long-run solvency would reduce or eliminate benefits to some early retirees. To what extent might those benefit reductions cause hardship for individuals with precarious financial circumstances and whose health appears to limit their ability to offset reductions in Social Security income through increased earnings? Our research is intended to identify the size and characteristics of the population that might be at risk as a consequence of such changes.

The central finding is that over 20 percent of early Social Security retirees have health problems that substantially impair their ability to work. In fact, among those aged 62–64 who are severely impaired, there are as many Old-Age and Survivors Insurance beneficiaries as there are beneficiaries under SSA's two disability programs. The retirement program functions as a substantial, albeit unofficial, disability program for this age group. Moreover, the majority of the most severely impaired early retirees would not qualify for Disability Insurance benefits.

Who Is "62 Enough"? Identifying Respondents Eligible for Social Security Early Retirement Benefits in the Health and Retirement Study
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 62 No. 3 (released January 2000)
by Janice A. Olson

Workers are not instantly eligible for Social Security retirement benefits on their 62nd birthdays, nor can they receive benefits in the month they turn 62. This note discusses how well researchers can do using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to identify respondents old enough to receive and report early Social Security retirement benefits. It shows that only some workers aged 62 at the time of an HRS interview will be "62 enough" to have received a Social Security benefit and reported it in the survey.

Who Is "62 Enough": Identifying Eligibles for Social Security Early Retirement in the Health and Retirement Study
ORES Working Paper No. 85 (released September 1999)
by Janice A. Olson

Either the normal retirement age (NRA) or the earliest eligibility age (EEA) for Social Security retirement benefits would be increased under many proposals for Social Security reform. As a consequence, research interest in who retires at early ages and the potential effects of an increase in the NRA or EEA has grown. This note discusses how well researchers can do using data from the Health and Retirement Study in identifying the pool of respondents who could have received early Social Security retirement benefits.

The Economics of Retirement: A Nontechnical Guide
ORES Working Paper No. 66 (released April 1995)
by Michael V. Leonesio

This paper provides a nontechnical explanation of the basic ideas that underpin economists' thinking about work and retirement decisions and discusses and elaborates on the basic economic model of retirement. The paper begins with a simple economic model of an individual's work decision, to explain the construction and logic of this model, and to show how the model can be used to make basic predictions about factors that might plausibly affect the timing of retirement. From this starting point—which essentially describes the economic retirement models before the late 1970s—the paper then explains how the model has been extended during the past 2 decades. The increasing sophistication and complexity of the models reflect scientific progress in which new retirement research incorporates the findings of previous efforts, the desire to incorporate more realism into the models, and the availability of improved data. The progress in economic modeling is emphasized as the contributions of various influential studies are reviewed.

Economic Retirement Studies: An Annotated Bibliography
ORES Working Paper No. 45 (released July 1990)
by Michael V. Leonesio

This bibliography is a by-product of preparing a review of the economic literature on the effect of Social Security's retirement program on the labor supply of older workers. In the course of organizing a set of scribbled notes, the outline of the current document began to take shape. Several colleagues found earlier, incomplete drafts of these notes to be of some value in their own work, and encouraged me to offer them to a wider audience.

These notes are intended to provide a helpful overview of the models, data sources, and statistical procedures used by economists in recent years to investigate the work-retirement decision.

A Look at Very Early Retirees
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 52 No. 3 (released March 1989)
by Michael D. Packard and Virginia P. Reno
Study on Early Retirement Decision
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 32 No. 8 (released August 1969)
by Richard Barfield, George Katona, and James Morgan
Measuring Early Retirement: New Benefit Awards Series
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 30 No. 10 (released October 1967)
Early Retirement and Work-Life Experience
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 29 No. 3 (released March 1966)
by Lenore A. Epstein
Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance: Early-Retirement Provisions
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 24 No. 10 (released October 1961)
by Marice C. Hart
Old-Age and Survivors Insurance: A Report on the Retirement Test
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 23 No. 10 (released October 1960)

Education

Does Retirement Education Teach People to Save Pension Distributions?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 64 No. 4 (released June 2003)
by Leslie A. Muller

Education about retirement affects how employees use distributions from their defined contribution pension plans. Retirement education substantially increases the probability that participants age 40 and under will save a distribution but decreases the probability that college graduates and women will save one. These important differentials are concealed by estimates of the effect of retirement education on participants generally.

Eligibility

Longitudinal Patterns of Medicaid and Medicare Coverage Among Disability Cash Benefit Awardees
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 3 (released August 2012)
by Kalman Rupp and Gerald F. Riley

This article analyzes the effect of longitudinal interactions between the Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs in providing access to Medicare and Medicaid, using a sample of administrative records spanning 84 months. Our study is the first effort to link and analyze record data on participation in all four of these major, and highly interrelated, public benefit programs in the United States. We find that SSI facilitates high levels of Medicaid coverage for SSI awardees overall and provides access to Medicaid for many DI awardees during the 24-month Medicare waiting period. Many people who exit SSI retain their Medicaid coverage, but the gap in coverage between continuing SSI participants and those who leave the program increases over time. After Medicare kicks in, public health insurance coverage is virtually complete among awardees with some DI involvement, including dual Medicaid and Medicare coverage for some.

The Implications of Marital History Change on Women's Eligibility for Social Security Wife and Widow Benefits, 1990–2009
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 2 (released May 2012)
by Howard M. Iams and Christopher R. Tamborini

Social Security retirement-age benefits in the United States reflect marital histories and lifetime earnings of current and former married couples. We examine women's marital history patterns and spouse and widow benefit eligibility over the past two decades, 1990 and 2009. Our analysis reveals substantial changes in women's marital patterns among the baby boom and generation X cohorts. We find a substantial decline in qualifying marital histories for Social Security spouse and widow benefits. The results reveal considerable variation by race and Hispanic origin.

The Impact of Changes in Couples' Earnings on Married Women's Social Security Benefits
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 1 (released February 2012)
by Barbara A. Butrica and Karen E. Smith

This article uses the Social Security Administration's Modeling Income in the Near Term (version 6) to examine how changes in married women's labor force participation and earnings will impact the Social Security benefits of current and future beneficiary wives. Over the next 30 years, a larger share of wives will be eligible for Social Security benefits based solely on their own earnings, and wives' average Social Security benefits are expected to increase by 50 percent. Despite rising female lifetime earnings, wives' earnings typically remain below those of their husbands, so many wives who are retired-worker-only beneficiaries while their husbands are alive will receive auxiliary benefits when their husbands die.

Who Never Receives Social Security Benefits?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 2 (released May 2011)
by Kevin Whitman, Gayle L. Reznik, and Dave Shoffner

Approximately 4 percent of the aged population will never receive Social Security benefits. This article examines the prevalence, demographic characteristics, and economic well-being of these never-beneficiaries. Most never-beneficiaries do not have sufficient earnings to be eligible for benefits, and most of these insufficient earners are either late-arriving immigrants or infrequent workers. About 44 percent of never-beneficiaries are in poverty, compared with about 4 percent of current and future beneficiaries.

Next Generation of Individual Account Pension Reforms in Latin America
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 1 (released February 2011)
by Barbara E. Kritzer, Stephen J. Kay, and Tapen Sinha

This article examines the recent reforms in individual account systems in Latin America, with a focus on the recent overhaul of the Chilean system and major reforms in Mexico, Peru, and Colombia. The authors analyze key elements of pension reform in the region relating to individual accounts: system coverage, fees, competition, investment, the impact of gender on benefits, financial education, voluntary savings, and payouts.

Distributional Effects of Accelerating and Extending the Increase in the Full Retirement Age
Policy Brief No. 2011-01 (released January 2011)
by Glenn R. Springstead

This policy brief compares two options set forth by the Social Security Advisory Board to increase the full retirement age (FRA), the age at which claimants may receive unreduced Social Security old-age benefits. One option would raise the FRA from the current target of 67 years to 68 years; the other would raise the FRA to 70 years. The brief examines the effects of both options on the level of benefits of Social Security beneficiaries aged 62 or older in 2070 using Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT) projections, and on Trust Fund solvency using estimates from the Social Security Administration's Office of the Chief Actuary. The brief finds that both options would reduce benefits, improve solvency, and slightly increase the poverty rate. Within each option, effects on benefits are relatively uniform across beneficiary characteristics, although some surviving spouse and disabled beneficiaries would be shielded from benefit reductions.

Chile's Next Generation Pension Reform
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 2 (released October 2008)
by Barbara E. Kritzer

Since its inception in 1981, Chile's system of mandatory individual retirement accounts has become a model for pension reformers around the world. A March 2008 comprehensive pension reform law made major changes that address some key policy challenges including worker coverage, gender equity, pension adequacy, and administrative fees. The cornerstone of the new law sets up a basic universal pension as a supplement to the individual accounts system.

Social Security Beneficiaries Affected by the Windfall Elimination Provision in 2006
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 2 (released October 2008)
by Barbara A. Lingg

The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) is a method of computing benefits for some workers who receive a pension based on non-Social Security covered work. At the end of 2006, about 970,000 beneficiaries, mainly retired workers, were affected by the WEP. This article provides a brief legislative history, describes the WEP computation, and presents statistical data about beneficiaries affected by the WEP.

Women, Marriage, and Social Security Benefits Revisited
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 4 (released May 2008)
by Christopher R. Tamborini and Kevin Whitman

This article uses a Restricted-Use File of the 2001 Marital History Topical Module to the U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to examine women's marital histories in relation to Social Security spouse and widow benefit eligibility. To assess marital trends over time, the authors compare SIPP estimates to data reported in Iams and Ycas. 1988 article, "Women, Marriage and Social Security Benefits," which used the 1985 Marital History Supplement to the Current Population Survey. The results shed light on important links between sociodemographic trends in marriage and Social Security beneficiaries. Over three-fourths of women aged 40 to 69 in 2001 already had marital histories that guarantee them the option of a spouse or widow benefit at retirement. However, a smaller proportion of these women would be potentially eligible to receive spouse or widow benefits compared to their counterparts in 1985 due to changes in patterns in marriage, particularly among younger women in the baby-boom cohort. Notable shifts include rising proportions of currently divorced women without a 10-year marriage and never-married women.

Benefit Adequacy Among Elderly Social Security Retired-Worker Beneficiaries and the SSI Federal Benefit Rate
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 3 (released April 2008)
by Kalman Rupp, Alexander Strand, Paul S. Davies, and James Sears

The federal benefit rate (FBR) of the Supplemental Security Income program provides an inflation-indexed income guarantee for aged and disabled people with low assets. Some consider the FBR as an attractive measure of Social Security benefit adequacy. Others propose the FBR as an administratively simple, well-targeted minimum Social Security benefit. However, these claims have not been empirically tested. Using microdata from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, this article finds that the FBR is an imprecise measure of benefit adequacy; it incorrectly identifies as economically vulnerable many who are not poor, and disregards some who are poor. The reason for this is that the FBR-level benefit threshold of adequacy considers the Social Security benefit in isolation and ignores the family consumption unit. The FBR would provide an administratively simple but poorly targeted foundation for a minimum Social Security benefit. The empirical estimates quantify the substantial tradeoffs between administrative simplicity and target effectiveness.

Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Beneficiaries: Survey of Their Continuing Eligibility
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 20 No. 3 (released March 1957)
Workers in Employment Covered by Old-Age and Survivors Insurance in 1944
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 10, No. 7 (released July 1947)
by Marie Correll

Private Pensions

Immigrants and Retirement Resources
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 74 No. 1 (released February 2014)
by Purvi Sevak and Lucie Schmidt

In this article, the authors use the Health and Retirement Study to compare retirement resources of the foreign born with those of the native born. They find that immigrants have significantly lower Social Security benefit levels than natives; however, after controlling for demographic characteristics immigrants have higher levels of net worth. The immigrant/native differential in retirement resources varies systematically by number of years in the United States.

Pension Plan Participation Among Married Couples
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 3 (released August 2013)
by Irena Dushi and Howard M. Iams

This article presents descriptive statistics on pension participation and the types of plans among married couples, using data from the 1996 and 2008 Panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation and Social Security administrative records. The findings indicate that in only 20 percent of couples, neither of the spouses participated in a pension plan; in about 10 percent of couples, the wife was the only one participating in a retirement plan; and in 37 percent of couples, the husband was the only one participating. Despite the substantial changes in pension landscape over the past decade, the findings reveal only modest changes in participation rates and in the types of plans respondents participated in between 1998 and 2009.

Contribution Dynamics in Defined Contribution Pension Plans During the Great Recession of 2007–2009
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 2 (released May 2013)
by Irena Dushi, Howard M. Iams, and Christopher R. Tamborini

The authors investigate the extent of changes in workers' participation and contributions to defined contribution (DC) plans during the Great Recession of 2007–2009. Using longitudinal information from Social Security W-2 tax records matched to a nationally representative sample of respondents from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, they find that the recent economic downturn had a considerable impact on workers' participation and contributions to DC plans. A sizable segment of 2007 participants (39 percent) decreased their contributions to DC plans by more than 10 percent during the Great Recession. The findings also highlight the interrelationship between the dynamics in DC contributions and earnings changes.

The Impact of Retirement Account Distributions on Measures of Family Income
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 2 (released May 2013)
by Howard M. Iams and Patrick J. Purcell

The income of the aged is composed largely of Social Security benefits, asset income, and pension income. Over the past three decades, the primary form of employer-sponsored pension has shifted from the traditional defined benefit plan to defined contribution plans, such as the 401(k). That trend creates problems for measuring the income of the aged because most household surveys of income either do not collect information about distributions from defined contribution retirement accounts or do not include those distributions in their summary measures of income. This article examines the impact of including distributions from retirement accounts on the estimated income of families headed by persons aged 65 or older.

Psychosocial Factors and Financial Literacy
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 1 (released February 2013)
by John L. Murphy

This article explores how psychosocial variables relate to financial literacy. Although prior research has examined mainstay economic variables, this study examines whether previously unexplored variables—financial satisfaction, hopelessness, and religiosity—impact financial literacy. The study uses Health and Retirement Study data and finds that financial satisfaction and religiosity are associated with financial literacy.

How Did the Recession of 2007–2009 Affect the Wealth and Retirement of the Near Retirement Age Population in the Health and Retirement Study?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 4 (released November 2012)
by Alan L. Gustman, Thomas L. Steinmeier, and Nahid Tabatabai

This article uses household wealth and labor market data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to investigate how the recent "Great Recession" has affected the wealth and retirement of the Early Boomer cohort, those in the population who were just approaching retirement age at the beginning of the recession. The retirement wealth of people aged 53–58 before the onset of the recession in 2006 declined by a relatively modest 2.8 percent by 2010. For members of older cohorts, wealth had increased by about 5 percent over a comparable age span. The wealth holdings of poorer households were least affected by the recession. Relative losses were greatest for those who initially had the highest wealth when the recession began. The retirement behavior of the Early Boomer cohort looks similar, at least to date, to the behavior observed for members of older cohorts at comparable ages.

Income Replacement Ratios in the Health and Retirement Study
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 3 (released August 2012)
by Patrick J. Purcell

Income typically falls in retirement, and the timing and extent of that decline concerns policymakers. If income from Social Security, pensions, and savings do not allow retirees to maintain their desired standard of living, they will face difficult and perhaps unexpected choices about reducing or eliminating certain kinds of expenditures. The income replacement ratio—retirement income expressed as a percentage of preretirement income—has become a familiar metric for assessing the adequacy of retirement income. This article presents the income replacement ratios experienced by members of the original sample cohort of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), who were born between 1931 and 1941. Median replacement ratios among this sample fall as the retirement period grows longer.

Shifting Income Sources of the Aged
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 3 (released August 2012)
by Chris E. Anguelov, Howard M. Iams, and Patrick J. Purcell

This article discusses the importance of 401(k)-type defined contribution plans and individual retirement accounts in providing retirement income for current and future retirees. The rising prevalence and importance of this type of income creates measurement errors in the Current Population Survey and other sources of data on the income of the aged because those sources substantially underreport the distributions from such retirement plans.

Defined Contribution Pension Participation and Contributions by Earnings Levels Using Administrative Data
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 2 (released May 2011)
by Irena Dushi, Howard M. Iams, and Christopher R. Tamborini

This article examines the relationship between earnings levels and participation and contribution rates in defined contribution (DC) retirement plans. Specifically, the article estimates DC plan participation and contribution rates in 2006 both by the worker's current earnings and by the annual average of real earnings over the 10-year period 1997–2006. Using these two different measures of earnings allows us to assess whether employing a longer period of earnings, such as a decade, provides a better representation of pension outcomes than the short-term measure of current earnings.

Assessment of Retirement Plan Coverage by Firm Size Using W-2 Tax Records
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 2 (released May 2011)
by Irena Dushi, Howard M. Iams, and Jules Lichtenstein

Of particular interest in this article is the relationship between firm size and pension coverage and participation because small businesses tend to be less likely to offer retirement benefits to their employees than do large businesses. This relationship is particularly important given the current administration's retirement proposals to create automatic individual retirement accounts. Obviously, accurate information is important not only in formulating retirement income security policies that target workers without retirement plan coverage, but also to assess the impact of such policies on workers' retirement plan participation.

The Role of Behavioral Economics and Behavioral Decision Making in Americans' Retirement Savings Decisions
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 70 No. 4 (released November 2010)
by Melissa A. Z. Knoll

This article outlines findings from the judgment and decision making (JDM) and behavioral-economics literatures that highlight the many behavioral impediments to saving that individuals may encounter on their way to financial security. It discusses how behavioral and psychological issues, such as self-control, emotions, and choice architecture can help policymakers understand which factors, aside from purely economic ones, may affect individuals' savings behavior.

The Impact of Response Error on Participation Rates and Contributions to Defined Contribution Pension Plans
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 70 No. 1 (released February 2010)
by Irena Dushi and Howard M. Iams

The accuracy of information about coverage and contributions to defined contribution (DC) pension plans is important in understanding the economic well-being of future retirees because these plans are an increasingly important part of retirement income security. Using data from the 1996 and 2004 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) merged with information from W-2 tax records, we examine the extent to which estimated participation rates and contribution amounts to DC plans derived from SIPP reports differ from estimates obtained from tax-deferred contributions in the W-2 tax records.

The Disappearing Defined Benefit Pension and Its Potential Impact on the Retirement Incomes of Baby Boomers
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 3 (released October 2009)
by Barbara A. Butrica, Howard M. Iams, Karen E. Smith, and Eric J. Toder

A large share of traditional defined benefit pension plans have frozen within the past decade and evidence suggests that this trend will continue in the future. This article uses the Model of Income in the Near Term (MINT) microsimulation model to project the impact on boomers' retirement incomes of freezing traditional pension plans and replacing them with 401(k)-type plans. The projections suggest that the largest impact will be for the most recent boomers born between 1961 and 1965.

Cohort Differences in Wealth and Pension Participation of Near-Retirees
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 3 (released December 2008)
by Irena Dushi and Howard M. Iams

This article examines pension participation and nonpension net worth of two cohorts of near retirees. Particularly, the authors look at people born in 1933 through 1939 who were ages 55–61 in 1994, and the more recent cohort consisting of people of the same age in 2004 who were born in 1943 through 1949. Data are from the Health and Retirement Study, a longitudinal, nationally representative survey of older Americans.

Trends in Elective Deferrals of Earnings from 1990–2001 in Social Security Administrative Data
Research and Statistics Note No. 2008-03 (released June 2008)
by David Pattison and Hilary Waldron
KiwiSaver: New Zealand's New Subsidized Retirement Savings Plans
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 4 (released May 2008)
by Barbara E. Kritzer

On July 1, 2007, New Zealand introduced KiwiSaver, a new subsidized retirement savings plan. All new entrants to the labor force and anyone starting a new job are automatically enrolled in a plan and may opt out if they wish. Anyone younger than age 65, including the self-employed and anyone not in the labor force, may choose to set up a KiwiSaver account. The government provides tax credits for both employer and account holder contributions, a one-time tax-free payment to each account, and an annual fee subsidy to defray administrative costs.

The Evolution of Japanese Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 3 (released April 2008)
by David Rajnes

This article examines the development of Japanese voluntary employer-sponsored retirement plans with an emphasis on recent trends. Before 2001, companies in Japan offered retirement benefits as lump-sum severance payments and/or benefits from one of two types of defined benefit (DB) pension plans. One DB plan type was based on an earlier occupational pension model used in the United States. The other DB plan type allowed companies to opt out of the earnings-related portion of social security. Landmark laws passed in 2001 introduced a new generation of occupational retirement plans to employers and employees, creating three new DB plan designs and two new defined contribution types of plans. Since that time, the mix of employer-sponsored retirement plans offered in Japan has changed significantly, and overall employee coverage has declined. On balance, employer-sponsored retirement plans have remained largely DB in design.

Defined Contribution Pension Plans and the Supplemental Security Income Program
Policy Brief No. 2006-01 (released March 2006)
by Rene Parent

This policy brief analyzes changes in the employer-sponsored pension system and the relationship of these changes to the Supplemental Security Income program's treatment of retirement plans. SSI does not treat assets in defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans in the same manner. The primary difference is that a potential SSI recipient has access to the funds in a defined contribution plan, but a participant in the defined benefit plan has no access to the pension until attaining a specific age. The increasing prevalence of the defined contribution retirement plan and the decreasing prevalence of the defined benefit plan is one significant change—a trend that has gained momentum since the mid-1980s. The importance of these issues relates to the extent of pension plan holdings among SSI applicants and recipients, which is in turn directly related to their involvement in the labor force. The policy brief discusses three alternate approaches to SSI treatment of defined contribution retirement plans, one of which is to retain the current policy.

Comparing Replacement Rates Under Private and Federal Retirement Systems
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 65 No. 1 (released May 2004)
by Patricia P. Martin

This article presents a comparison of replacement rates for employees of medium and large private establishments to replacement rates for federal employees under the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees Retirement System. This analysis shows the possibility of replacement rates exceeding 100 percent for FERS employees who contribute 6 percent of earnings to the Thrift Savings Plan over a full working career. Private-sector replacement rates were quite similar for workers with both a defined benefit and a defined contribution pension plan.

Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Trends and Policy Issues
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 64 No. 2 (released September 2002)
by Patrick J. Purcell

This article summarizes recent trends in employer sponsorship of retirement plans and employee participation in those plans. It is based on data collected in surveys of employers conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics and surveys of households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Characteristics of Individuals with Integrated Pensions
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 62 No. 3 (released January 2000)
by Keith A. Bender

This article uses data from the Health and Retirement Survey to examine the characteristics of individuals who are covered under integrated pension plans by comparing them with people covered by nonintegrated plans and those with no pension plan.

Characteristics of Individuals with Integrated Pensions
ORES Working Paper No. 83 (released July 1999)
by Keith A. Bender

Employer pensions that integrate benefits with Social Security have been the focus of relatively little research. Potentially this is an important omission given the current Social Security reform debate. Since changes in Social Security benefit levels and other program characteristics can affect the benefit levels and other features of integrated pension plans, it is important to know who is covered by these plans. This paper uses data from the Health and Retirement Survey to examine the characteristics of individuals who are covered under integrated pension plans by comparing them with people covered by non-integrated plans and those with no pension plan. The results show that individuals who are female, white, non-unionized, or do not have postgraduate education are significantly more likely to be in an integrated employer pension plan.

Pension Integration and Social Security Reform
ORES Working Paper No. 75 (released July 1998)
by Chuck Slusher

Many employer-provided pension plans explicitly account for Social Security in their benefit formulas—a practice known as integration. Because integrated pensions are directly linked to Social Security, both the incidence and design of explicitly integrated plans are likely to be affected by changes in the current Social Security program. While integration has been mentioned as an important issue in discussions of Social Security reform, researchers have largely ignored the concept of pension integration. This paper provides basic information about pension integration and addresses, in general terms, the relationship between Social Security reform and pension integration.

Pension Coverage Among the Baby Boomers: Initial Findings From a 1993 Survey
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 57 No. 3 (released July 1994)
by John R. Woods
Pension Vesting and Preretirement Lump Sums Among Full-Time Private Sector Employees
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 56 No. 3 (released July 1993)
by John R. Woods
The Role of Pensions in Retirement Income: Trends and Questions
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 56 No. 1 (released January 1993)
by Virginia P. Reno
Pension Coverage Among Private Wage and Salary Workers: Preliminary Findings From the 1988 Survey of Employee Benefits
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 52 No. 10 (released October 1989)
by John R. Woods
Pension Coverage Among Private Wage and Salary Workers: Preliminary Findings from the 1988 Survey of Employee Benefits
ORES Working Paper No. 38 (released August 1989)
by John R. Woods

Pension coverage is declining in the United States, and most of the decline can be attributed to decreasing coverage among younger workers. In addition, it appears that the types of pension coverage are shifting, with a decline in traditional pension plans and an increase in 401(k) plans.

These are perhaps the most important findings from a 1988 survey of American workers, similar to pension surveys in 1972, 1979, and 1983. The 1988 survey collected data from a sample representing 114 million workers who were currently employed. This paper examines patterns of pension coverage among all private wage and salary workers, but focuses on those working full time.

Retirement-Age Women and Pensions: Findings From the New Beneficiary Survey
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 51 No. 12 (released December 1988)
by John R. Woods
The Relationships Between Public and Private Pension Schemes: An Introductory Overview
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 50 No. 7 (released July 1987)
by Max Horlick
Pension Status of Recently Retired Workers on Their Longest Job: Findings From the New Beneficiary Survey
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 49 No. 8 (released August 1986)
by Donald C. Snyder
The Retirement Equity Act of 1984: A Review
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 48 No. 5 (released May 1985)
by Edmund T. Donovan
The Norris Decision
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 47 No. 4 (released April 1984)
by Martha Remy Yohalem
Private Pensions: 1982 Legislation
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 46 No. 8 (released August 1983)
by Gene Carter
Coverage Patterns of Full-Time Employees Under Private Retirement Plans
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 44 No. 7 (released July 1981)
by Daniel J. Beller
Vesting of Private Pension Benefits in 1979 and Change From 1972
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 44 No. 7 (released July 1981)
by Gayle Thompson Rogers
Pension Coverage and Vesting Among Private Wage and Salary Workers, 1979: Preliminary Estimates from the 1979 Survey of Pension Plan Coverage
ORES Working Paper No. 16 (released June 1980)
by Gayle Thompson Rogers

This paper examines pension coverage and vesting in 1979 among private wage and salary workers aged 14 and older in the employed labor force. Coverage and vested status are examined in relation to personal and current job characteristics in order to provide a profile of workers protected and not protected under the private retirement system. The data are derived from the 1979 Survey of Pension Plan Coverage, a supplement to the May 1979 Current Population Survey.

Three major findings emerge from the analysis. First, coverage rates among full-time workers increased slightly between 1972 and 1979, and vested rates increased substantially during the same period. Second, although coverage rates were moderate to high for certain groups of workers, many workers were not in these groups. Third, women were much less likely than men to be covered by a retirement plan and to have acquired vested rights to their benefits.

Inflation and the Accumulation of Assets in Private Pension Funds
ORES Working Paper No. 14 (released April 1980)
by John A. Turner

This paper examines the effect of inflation on private pension saving. The role that private pensions can or should play in providing income in old age in the current inflationary environment is an important policy issue. A number of studies have discussed the effect of inflation on pensions. This study extends the existing analysis and presents the first empirical estimates. Inflation is seen to have a large negative effect on this aspect of retirement saving by workers.

Mandating Private Pensions: Experience in Four European Countries
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 42 No. 3 (released March 1979)
by Max Horlick
Black-White Differences in Private Pensions: Findings From the Retirement History Study
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 42 No. 2 (released February 1979)
by Gayle B. Thompson
Impact of Inflation on Private Pensions of Retirees, 1970–74: Findings From the Retirement History Study
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 41 No. 11 (released November 1978)
by Gayle B. Thompson
Pension Coverage and Benefits, 1972: Findings From the Retirement History Study
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 41 No. 2 (released February 1978)
by Gayle B. Thompson
Employee-Benefit Plans, 1975
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 40 No. 11 (released November 1977)
by Martha Remy Yohalem
Twenty-Five Years of Employee-Benefit Plans
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 39 No. 9 (released September 1976)
by Alfred M. Skolnik
Private Pension Plans, 1950–74
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 39 No. 6 (released June 1976)
by Alfred M. Skolnik
Revised Coverage Estimates for Employee-Benefit Plan Series
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 38 No. 10 (released October 1975)
by Alfred M. Skolnik
Employee-Benefit Plans, 1973
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 38 No. 5 (released May 1975)
by Walter W. Kolodrubetz
Pension Reform Legislation of 1974
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 37 No. 12 (released December 1974)
by Alfred M. Skolnik
Coverage and Vesting of Full-Time Employees Under Private Retirement Plans
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 36 No. 11 (released November 1973)
by Walter W. Kolodrubetz and Donald M. Landay
Switzerland: Compulsory Private Pensions
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 36 No. 10 (released October 1973)
by Max Horlick
Private Retirement Benefits and Relationship to Earnings Survey of New Beneficiaries
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 36 No. 5 (released May 1973)
by Walter W. Kolodrubetz
Characteristics of Workers With Pension Coverage on Longest Job: New Beneficiaries
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 34 No. 11 (released November 1971)
by Walter W. Kolodrubetz
Second Pensions Among Newly Entitled Workers: Survey of New Beneficiaries
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 34 No. 11 (released November 1971)
by Lenore E. Bixby and Virginia P. Reno
Private and Public Retirement Pensions: Findings from the 1968 Survey of the Aged
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 33 No. 9 (released September 1970)
by Walter W. Kolodrubetz
Funding Under Private Pension Plans
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 32 No. 10 (released October 1969)
by Nancy Crisman
Employee-Benefit Plans in 1966
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 31 No. 4 (released April 1968)
by Walter W. Kolodrubetz
Private Pensions and Individual Savings
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 29 No. 5 (released May 1966)
by George Katona
Ten Years of Employee-Benefit Plans
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 29 No. 4 (released April 1966)
by Alfred M. Skolnik
Public Policy and Private Pension Programs
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 28 No. 7 (released July 1965)
Employee-Benefit Plans: Developments 1954–63
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 28 No. 4 (released April 1965)
by Alfred M. Skolnik
Study of Retirement Policies and Practices in Industry
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 27 No. 8 (released August 1964)
Definition of Disability in Private Pension Plans
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 27 No. 5 (released May 1964)
by Joseph Krislov
Employee-Benefit Plans, 1954–62
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 27 No. 4 (released April 1964)
by Joseph Krislov
Private Pension Plan Terminations
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 26 No. 12 (released December 1963)
by Joseph Krislov
Growth of Employee-Benefit Plans, 1954–61
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 26 No. 4 (released April 1963)
by Alfred M. Skolnik
Employee-Benefit Plans, 1954–60
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 25 No. 4 (released April 1962)
by Alfred M. Skolnik
Private Employee-Benefit Plans Today
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 20 No. 1 (released January 1957)
by Joseph Zisman
Pensions in the United States: A Summary
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 16 No. 3 (released March 1953)
Permanent and Total Disability Benefit Provisions in Industrial Pension Plans
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 14 No. 1 (released January 1951)
by Joseph Zisman
Group Annuities Supplementing Retirement Benefits Under Old-Age and Survivors Insurance
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 11, No. 6 (released June 1948)
by Weltha Van Eenam
Social Security for State and Local Government Employees
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 8, No. 4 (released April 1945)
by Arthur J. Altmeyer

Program

General
How Effective Is the Social Security Statement? Informing Younger Workers about Social Security
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 74 No. 4 (released November 2014)
by Barbara A. Smith and Kenneth A. Couch

The Social Security Administration began mailing annual earnings and benefit statements to workers aged 60 or older in 1995, and increased its mailings to include workers in younger age groups in succeeding years. In 1998, the agency commissioned the Gallup Organization to evaluate the effects of these statements on the public's knowledge of Social Security programs and benefits. This article briefly describes the development and implementation of the Social Security Statement; discusses the Gallup surveys conducted in 1998 and 2001; and uses data from those surveys to compare, for workers aged 46 or younger, knowledge about Social Security before and after receipt of the Social Security Statement.

The Social Security Statement: Background, Implementation, and Recent Developments
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 74 No. 2 (released May 2014)
by Barbara A. Smith and Kenneth A. Couch

In 1995, the Social Security Administration (SSA) began mailing annual earnings and benefit statements to workers aged 60 or older. By 2000, SSA was sending these statements to all workers aged 25 or older. It was the largest customized mailing ever undertaken by a federal agency. This article describes the development and implementation of the Social Security Statement; the changes in its distribution, content, and appearance over time; its relationship to SSA's strategic plans; and the surveys SSA commissioned to measure public awareness and knowledge of Social Security.

Pension Plan Participation Among Married Couples
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 3 (released August 2013)
by Irena Dushi and Howard M. Iams

This article presents descriptive statistics on pension participation and the types of plans among married couples, using data from the 1996 and 2008 Panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation and Social Security administrative records. The findings indicate that in only 20 percent of couples, neither of the spouses participated in a pension plan; in about 10 percent of couples, the wife was the only one participating in a retirement plan; and in 37 percent of couples, the husband was the only one participating. Despite the substantial changes in pension landscape over the past decade, the findings reveal only modest changes in participation rates and in the types of plans respondents participated in between 1998 and 2009.

Psychosocial Factors and Financial Literacy
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 1 (released February 2013)
by John L. Murphy

This article explores how psychosocial variables relate to financial literacy. Although prior research has examined mainstay economic variables, this study examines whether previously unexplored variables—financial satisfaction, hopelessness, and religiosity—impact financial literacy. The study uses Health and Retirement Study data and finds that financial satisfaction and religiosity are associated with financial literacy.

What Can We Learn from Analyzing Historical Data on Social Security Entitlements?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 4 (released November 2011)
by Joyce Manchester and Jae G. Song

Data from administrative records of the Social Security Administration allow us to examine patterns of initial entitlement to Old-Age Insurance benefits as well as Disability Insurance benefits. We follow cohorts born in different years over their lifetimes to identify changes in entitlements by age over time. Breaking out single birth cohorts shows close adherence in entitlement ages to rule changes as well as increasing shares of cohorts relying on the Disability Insurance program in middle age.

Administering Social Security: Challenges Yesterday and Today
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 70 No. 3 (released August 2010)
by Carolyn Puckett

During its 75-year history, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has faced many administrative challenges. This article depicts some of those challenges—involving legislative demands, staffing and workloads, infrastructure and technology, logistics and procedures, emergency response operations, and other matters—and the steps that SSA has taken to deal with them.

A Legislative History of the Social Security Protection Act of 2004
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 4 (released March 2009)
by Erik Hansen

The Social Security Protection Act of 2004 (SSPA), with its administrative remedies and program protections, can be seen as another incremental step in the development of a social insurance program that best meets the evolving needs of American society. This article discusses the legislative history of the SSPA in detail. It also includes summaries of the provisions and a chronology of the modification of these proposals as they passed through the House and Senate, and ultimately to the president's desk.

Social Security Beneficiaries Affected by the Windfall Elimination Provision in 2006
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 2 (released October 2008)
by Barbara A. Lingg

The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) is a method of computing benefits for some workers who receive a pension based on non-Social Security covered work. At the end of 2006, about 970,000 beneficiaries, mainly retired workers, were affected by the WEP. This article provides a brief legislative history, describes the WEP computation, and presents statistical data about beneficiaries affected by the WEP.

Research on Immigrant Earnings
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 1 (released August 2008)
by Harriet Orcutt Duleep and Daniel J. Dowhan

As the first in a trio of articles devoted to incorporating immigration into policy models, this article traces the history of research on immigrant earnings. It focuses on how earnings trajectories of immigrants differ from those of U.S. natives, vary across immigrant groups, and have changed over time. The highlighted findings underscore key lessons for modeling immigrant earnings and pave the way for representing the earnings trajectories of immigrants in policy models.

Incorporating Immigrant Flows into Microsimulation Models
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 1 (released August 2008)
by Harriet Orcutt Duleep and Daniel J. Dowhan

Complementing the second paper's focus on forecasting immigrant earnings and emigration in a "closed system" for a given population, the last article of the trilogy explores how to project immigrant earnings for an "open system"—a system that includes future immigrants. A simple method to project future immigrants and their earnings is presented.

Adding Immigrants to Microsimulation Models
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 1 (released August 2008)
by Harriet Orcutt Duleep and Daniel J. Dowhan

Given immigration's recent resurgence as an important demographic fact in the U.S. economy, U.S. policy modelers are just beginning to grapple with how best to integrate immigrants into policy models. Building on the research reviewed in the first article of this series, this article puts forth a conceptual basis for incorporating immigration into a key type of policy model—microsimulation—with a focus on the projection of immigrant earnings.

Social Security's Special Minimum Benefit
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 64 No. 2 (released September 2002)
by Kelly A. Olsen and Don Hoffmeyer

Some Social Security reform proposals, such as two of the three offered by the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security, would modify and strengthen Social Security's special minimum benefit provision, which is intended to enhance benefits for low earners and is phasing out under current law. In order to inform policymakers as they continue to deliberate the provision's future, this article presents the most recent and comprehensive history and analysis available about the special minimum benefit.

Social Security Beneficiaries Enrolled in the Direct Deposit Program, December 1992
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 57 No. 1 (released January 1994)
by Joseph Bondar
State and Local Government Workers Covered Under Social Security, 1987
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 55 No. 2 (released April 1992)
by Wayne S. Long
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 49 No. 8 (released August 1986)
by Mary Ross and Carol Hayes
An Overview of OASDI Revenue, Expenditures, and Beneficiaries, 1974–85
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 49 No. 6 (released June 1986)
by Christine Irick
Deficit Reduction Act of 1984: Provisions Related to the OASDI and SSI Programs
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 47 No. 11 (released November 1984)
Sex-Specific Equivalent Retirement Ages: 1940–2050
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 47 No. 3 (released March 1984)
by Marilyn M. McMillen
OASDI and SSI Beneficiaries With a Representative Payee, 1981
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 46 No. 10 (released October 1983)
Earnings Replacement Rates and Total Income: Findings From the Retirement History Study
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 45 No. 10 (released October 1982)
by Alan Fox
Retirement History Study's First Four Years: Work, Health, and Living Arrangements
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 39 No. 12 (released December 1976)
by Kathleen Bond
Activities and Expenditures of Preretirees
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 38 No. 8 (released August 1975)
by Janet H. Murray
The Revised Benefit Schedule Under Federal Old-Age Insurance
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 2, No. 9 (released September 1939)
by Lyle L. Schmitter and Betti C. Goldwasser
Wages and Employment Under the Old-Age Insurance Program
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 1, No. 9 (released September 1938)
by John J. Corson
Research
Pension Plan Participation Among Married Couples
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 3 (released August 2013)
by Irena Dushi and Howard M. Iams

This article presents descriptive statistics on pension participation and the types of plans among married couples, using data from the 1996 and 2008 Panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation and Social Security administrative records. The findings indicate that in only 20 percent of couples, neither of the spouses participated in a pension plan; in about 10 percent of couples, the wife was the only one participating in a retirement plan; and in 37 percent of couples, the husband was the only one participating. Despite the substantial changes in pension landscape over the past decade, the findings reveal only modest changes in participation rates and in the types of plans respondents participated in between 1998 and 2009.

Contribution Dynamics in Defined Contribution Pension Plans During the Great Recession of 2007–2009
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 2 (released May 2013)
by Irena Dushi, Howard M. Iams, and Christopher R. Tamborini

The authors investigate the extent of changes in workers' participation and contributions to defined contribution (DC) plans during the Great Recession of 2007–2009. Using longitudinal information from Social Security W-2 tax records matched to a nationally representative sample of respondents from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, they find that the recent economic downturn had a considerable impact on workers' participation and contributions to DC plans. A sizable segment of 2007 participants (39 percent) decreased their contributions to DC plans by more than 10 percent during the Great Recession. The findings also highlight the interrelationship between the dynamics in DC contributions and earnings changes.

Longitudinal Patterns of Medicaid and Medicare Coverage Among Disability Cash Benefit Awardees
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 3 (released August 2012)
by Kalman Rupp and Gerald F. Riley

This article analyzes the effect of longitudinal interactions between the Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs in providing access to Medicare and Medicaid, using a sample of administrative records spanning 84 months. Our study is the first effort to link and analyze record data on participation in all four of these major, and highly interrelated, public benefit programs in the United States. We find that SSI facilitates high levels of Medicaid coverage for SSI awardees overall and provides access to Medicaid for many DI awardees during the 24-month Medicare waiting period. Many people who exit SSI retain their Medicaid coverage, but the gap in coverage between continuing SSI participants and those who leave the program increases over time. After Medicare kicks in, public health insurance coverage is virtually complete among awardees with some DI involvement, including dual Medicaid and Medicare coverage for some.

Defined Contribution Pension Participation and Contributions by Earnings Levels Using Administrative Data
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 2 (released May 2011)
by Irena Dushi, Howard M. Iams, and Christopher R. Tamborini

This article examines the relationship between earnings levels and participation and contribution rates in defined contribution (DC) retirement plans. Specifically, the article estimates DC plan participation and contribution rates in 2006 both by the worker's current earnings and by the annual average of real earnings over the 10-year period 1997–2006. Using these two different measures of earnings allows us to assess whether employing a longer period of earnings, such as a decade, provides a better representation of pension outcomes than the short-term measure of current earnings.

Assessment of Retirement Plan Coverage by Firm Size Using W-2 Tax Records
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 2 (released May 2011)
by Irena Dushi, Howard M. Iams, and Jules Lichtenstein

Of particular interest in this article is the relationship between firm size and pension coverage and participation because small businesses tend to be less likely to offer retirement benefits to their employees than do large businesses. This relationship is particularly important given the current administration's retirement proposals to create automatic individual retirement accounts. Obviously, accurate information is important not only in formulating retirement income security policies that target workers without retirement plan coverage, but also to assess the impact of such policies on workers' retirement plan participation.

The Impact of Response Error on Participation Rates and Contributions to Defined Contribution Pension Plans
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 70 No. 1 (released February 2010)
by Irena Dushi and Howard M. Iams

The accuracy of information about coverage and contributions to defined contribution (DC) pension plans is important in understanding the economic well-being of future retirees because these plans are an increasingly important part of retirement income security. Using data from the 1996 and 2004 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) merged with information from W-2 tax records, we examine the extent to which estimated participation rates and contribution amounts to DC plans derived from SIPP reports differ from estimates obtained from tax-deferred contributions in the W-2 tax records.

Social Security Research at the Michigan Retirement Research Center
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 4 (released December 2009)
by Richard V. Burkhauser, Alan L. Gustman, John Laitner, Olivia S. Mitchell, and Amanda Sonnega

The Office of Retirement and Disability Policy at the Social Security Administration created the Retirement Research Consortium in 1998 to encourage research on topics related to Social Security and the well-being of older Americans, and to foster communication between the academic and policy communities. The Michigan Retirement Research Center (MRRC) has participated in the Consortium since its inception. This article surveys a selection of the MRRC's output over its first 10 years and highlights several themes in the Center's ongoing research.

The Research Contributions of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 4 (released December 2009)
by Steven A. Sass

This article reviews the research contributions of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College over its 10-year history and their implications for Social Security and retirement income policy in three major areas: (1) Social Security's long-term financing shortfall, (2) the adequacy of retirement incomes, and (3) labor force participation at older ages as a means to improve retirement income security. The center has received substantial funding support from the Social Security Administration (SSA) in each area and has also successfully leveraged SSA's investment by attracting funding from other sources.

The Retirement Research Consortium: Past, Present, and Future
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 4 (released December 2009)
by Paul S. Davies and T. Lynn Fisher

This article provides an overview of the Retirement Research Consortium (RRC) from the Social Security Administration's perspective, including a brief history of the development of the RRC, a discussion of the aims of the RRC, and some thoughts on its future. The mission of the RRC is to plan and conduct a broad research program to develop Social Security and retirement policy information to assist policymakers, the public, and the media in understanding the issues. The RRC has been a remarkably successful extramural research venture that has advanced the knowledge base on Social Security and retirement issues, trained new scholars to become the next generation of Social Security and retirement policy experts, and provided objective, research-based input to the policymaking process.

Uses of Administrative Data at the Social Security Administration
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 1 (released May 2009)
by Jennifer McNabb, David Timmons, Jae G. Song, and Carolyn Puckett

This article discusses the advantages and limitations of using administrative data for research, examines how linking administrative data to survey results can be used to evaluate and improve survey design, and discusses research studies and SSA statistical products and services that are based on administrative data.

Incorporating Immigrant Flows into Microsimulation Models
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 1 (released August 2008)
by Harriet Orcutt Duleep and Daniel J. Dowhan

Complementing the second paper's focus on forecasting immigrant earnings and emigration in a "closed system" for a given population, the last article of the trilogy explores how to project immigrant earnings for an "open system"—a system that includes future immigrants. A simple method to project future immigrants and their earnings is presented.

Adding Immigrants to Microsimulation Models
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 1 (released August 2008)
by Harriet Orcutt Duleep and Daniel J. Dowhan

Given immigration's recent resurgence as an important demographic fact in the U.S. economy, U.S. policy modelers are just beginning to grapple with how best to integrate immigrants into policy models. Building on the research reviewed in the first article of this series, this article puts forth a conceptual basis for incorporating immigration into a key type of policy model—microsimulation—with a focus on the projection of immigrant earnings.

Research on Immigrant Earnings
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 1 (released August 2008)
by Harriet Orcutt Duleep and Daniel J. Dowhan

As the first in a trio of articles devoted to incorporating immigration into policy models, this article traces the history of research on immigrant earnings. It focuses on how earnings trajectories of immigrants differ from those of U.S. natives, vary across immigrant groups, and have changed over time. The highlighted findings underscore key lessons for modeling immigrant earnings and pave the way for representing the earnings trajectories of immigrants in policy models.

Retirement Outcomes in the Health and Retirement Study
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 63 No. 4 (released September 2001)
by Alan L. Gustman and Thomas L. Steinmeier

This study examines retirement outcomes in the first four waves of the 1992–1998 Health and Retirement Study (HRS). The article compares outcomes under alternative definitions of retirement, describes differences in outcomes among demographic groups, compares retirement dynamics based on self-reported retirement status, and compares retirement flows in the 1990s and the 1970s and between cohorts of the HRS. Among other findings, measured retirement is seen to differ, sometimes substantially, with the definition of retirement used among the various groups analyzed.

The Widow(er)'s Limit Provision of Social Security
ORES Working Paper No. 92 (released June 2001)
by David A. Weaver

The widow(er)'s limit provision of Social Security establishes caps on the benefit amounts of widow(er)s whose deceased spouse filed for early retirement benefits. Currently, 33 percent of Social Security's 8.1 million widow(er) beneficiaries have lower benefits because of that provision. This paper describes the widow(er)'s limit provision and evaluates proposed changes to it. The proposals considered range from the modest (allowing widow(er)s to receive adjustments to the capped amounts by delaying receipt of benefits) to the substantial (abolishing the widow(er)'s limit).

Analysis of Social Security Proposals Intended to Help Women: Preliminary Results
ORES Working Paper No. 88 (released January 2001)
by Sharmila Choudhury, Michael V. Leonesio, Kelvin R. Utendorf, Linda Del Bene, and Robert V. Gesumaria

One aspect of the current debate about changing the Social Security program concerns how new rules might affect elderly women, many of whom have low income. This paper examines three possible changes: (1) a reduction in spousal benefits combined with a change in the computation of the survivor benefit, (2) a redefined minimum benefit, and (3) a 5 percent increase in benefits for persons aged 80 or older. The paper assesses the cost, distributional consequences, and antipoverty impact of each option.

Using Data for Couples to Project the Distributional Effects of Changes in Social Security Policy
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 62 No. 3 (released January 2000)
by Barbara A. Butrica, Howard M. Iams, and Steven H. Sandell

This article addresses the importance of using data for couples rather than individuals to estimate Social Security benefits. We show how individual data can underestimate actual Social Security benefits, particularly for women, and discuss how its use has implications for policy evaluation.

Characteristics of Individuals with Integrated Pensions
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 62 No. 3 (released January 2000)
by Keith A. Bender

This article uses data from the Health and Retirement Survey to examine the characteristics of individuals who are covered under integrated pension plans by comparing them with people covered by nonintegrated plans and those with no pension plan.

The Distributional Effects of Changing the Averaging Period and Minimum Benefit Provisions
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 62 No. 2 (released September 1999)
by Steven H. Sandell, Howard M. Iams, and Daniel Fanaras

This study evaluates the effects of changing the averaging period used to calculate Social Security benefits from 35 years to 38 or 40 years and the introduction of a minimum benefit provision for future retirees born during the early part of the baby boom generation. Proposals to change the averaging period have been recommended by a majority of the 1994–96 Advisory Council on Social Security. Based on the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) matched to Social Security Administration earnings records, the study projects retirement benefits for different subgroups of the population under existing and proposed benefit rules. The magnitudes of the retirees' benefit changes vary by demographic group. The minimum benefit provision substantially mitigates the effects of the change to a 40-year averaging period for some groups of women.

Simulating Aggregate and Distributional Effects of Various Plans for Modifying the Retirement Earnings Test
ORES Working Paper No. 46 (released July 1990)
by David Pattison, Benjamin Bridges, Michael V. Leonesio, and Bernard Wixon

Social Security's retirement test continues to receive considerable attention among policymakers. During the past several years a variety of proposals have been advanced that would modify or eliminate the test for persons aged 65–69. In January 1989, we completed a study report, prepared for SSA internal use, that examined several of these proposals, analyzing their effect on earnings, taxes, and benefits in the first year of implementation, assumed to be 1990. The analysis included both aggregate estimates and estimates for selected population subgroups.

Although the specific proposals for modifying the retirement test have changed somewhat during the past 2 years, continued congressional interest has prompted the release of this initial version of our research for public discussion. Because we are in the process of revising the report for final publication, readers are cautioned that numbers and interpretations contained in this paper are subject to change.

Retirement-Age Couples by Type of Wife's Social Security Benefit
ORES Working Paper No. 43 (released June 1990)
by Christine Irick

This study examines the work history and economic circumstances of wives soon after receiving Social Security retirement benefits. Findings are based on a nationally representative sample of married women, aged 62 or over, who received their first benefit either as retired workers or as spouses of retired workers between mid-1980 and mid-1981.

A Review of the Net Revenue Estimates in Robbins and Robbins, "Paying People Not to Work"
ORES Working Paper No. 41 (released January 1990)
by David Pattison

This note discusses the net revenue estimates in the report "Paying People Not to Work: the Economic Cost of the Social Security Retirement Earnings Limit," by Aldona Robbins and Gary Robbins.

Development and Evaluation of a Survey-Based Type of Benefit Classification for the Social Security Program
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 52 No. 1 (released January 1989)
by Denton R. Vaughan
The 1973 CPS-IRS-SSA Exact Match Study
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 51 No. 7 (released July 1988)
by Beth Kilss and Frederick J. Scheuren
Commentary: Interagency Data Matching Projects for Research Purposes
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 51 No. 7 (released July 1988)
by Daniel B. Radner
Research and Social Security Policy in the United States
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 50 No. 10 (released October 1987)
by Jane L. Ross
The Role of Research and Statistics in the Development of Social Security
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 48 No. 11 (released November 1985)
by Erma W. Barron
Overview of the Office of Research, Statistics, and International Policy Functions
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 48 No. 9 (released September 1985)
by Jane L. Ross
European Attitudes Toward Retirement
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 43 No. 6 (released June 1980)
by Daniel Wartonick
The 1973 CPS-IRS-SSA Exact Match Study
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 41 No. 10 (released October 1978)
by Beth Kilss and Frederick J. Scheuren
Retirement Patterns in the United States: Research and Policy Interaction
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 39 No. 8 (released August 1976)
by Lenore E. Bixby
Three Decades of Social Security Research Publishing: The Bulletin Turns Thirty
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 31 No. 3 (released March 1968)
Review of Cooperative Research and Demonstration Grant Program
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 28 No. 3 (released March 1965)
by Donald M. Pilcher
Cooperative Research and Demonstration Grant Program of the Social Security Administration
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 24 No. 9 (released September 1961)
by Ida C. Merriam

Retirement Earnings Test

Incentivizing Delayed Claiming of Social Security Retirement Benefits Before Reaching the Full Retirement Age
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 74 No. 4 (released November 2014)
by Melissa A. Z. Knoll and Anya Olsen

Claiming Social Security retirement benefits before the full retirement age (FRA) results in permanently lower benefits, while delaying claiming permanently increases benefits. This article uses Modeling Income in the Near Term data to determine the socioeconomic characteristics of individuals who claim at various ages. The authors then describe a number of novel approaches aimed at encouraging individuals to delay claiming in the months and years before reaching their FRA. Lastly, the authors model one of those approaches to examine how a 1-year delay in claiming affects benefits and poverty in the future.

Modeling Behavioral Responses to Eliminating the Retirement Earnings Test
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 1 (released February 2013)
by Anya Olsen and Kathleen Romig

The retirement earnings test (RET) is an often-misunderstood aspect of the Social Security program. Policymakers have proposed reforming the RET as a way to encourage working at older ages. However, this could also cause earlier benefit claiming. We use Modeling Income in the Near Term data to analyze the complete repeal of the earnings test for beneficiaries aged 60 or older, first assuming no behavioral responses to repeal and secondly assuming changes to benefit claiming and workforce participation behaviors. Our lifetime results show that the assumed behavioral response—particularly the benefit claiming change—has a bigger effect than the RET policy change itself.

Have People Delayed Claiming Retirement Benefits? Responses to Changes in Social Security Rules
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 2 (released February 2008)
by Jae G. Song and Joyce Manchester

Using a 1 percent sample of Social Security Administration data, this article documents and analyzes responses in the entitlement age for old-age benefits following the recent changes in Social Security rules. Both rules, the removal of the retirement earnings test (RET) for persons who are at the full retirement age (FRA) through age 69 in 2000 or later and a gradual increase in the FRA for those who reach age 62 in 2000 or later, are expected to affect the age at which people claim Social Security retirement benefits (or entitlement age) and the work behavior of older Americans.

New Evidence on Earnings and Benefit Claims Following Changes in the Retirement Earnings Test in 2000
ORES Working Paper No. 107 (released June 2006)
by Jae G. Song and Joyce Manchester

In April 2000, Congress enacted the Senior Citizens Freedom to Work Act of 2000, which removed the retirement earnings test for individuals at the full retirement age and older. This paper examines the labor force activity of workers aged 65–69 relative to older and younger workers in response to the removal of the earnings test. We use the 1 percent sample of Social Security administrative data that covers the period from 4 years before to 4 years following the removal of the test. Quantile regression methods allow us to identify the earnings levels of workers who change their work effort.

Evaluating the Initial Impact of Eliminating the Retirement Earnings Test
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 65 No. 1 (released May 2004)
by Jae G. Song

How did workers aged 65–69 respond to the removal of the retirement earnings test in 2000? Using Social Security administrative data matched with data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, the author finds that the higher earners in this group increased their earnings, while the lower earners did not. The author reports an acceleration of benefit applications by workers aged 65–69 but no clear evidence of increased employment in this age group.

The Impact of Repealing the Retirement Earnings Test on Rates of Poverty
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 63 No. 2 (released December 2000)
by Michael A. Anzick and David A. Weaver

This article summarizes an analysis of the poverty implications of repealing the retirement earnings test (RET). Repealing the RET at the normal retirement age or older is unlikely to generate large poverty effects. Removing the test at age 62 or older, however, could lead to large increases in poverty.

Effect on Benefits of Earnings at Ages 65 or Older, 1995
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 62 No. 1 (released June 1999)
by Bertram Kestenbaum, Michael Shackleford, and Chris Chaplain

A major policy issue for the Social Security program is the treatment of earnings of persons who have attained retirement age. This article discusses the retirement test and recomputation of benefit provisions, and provides statistical data for 1995.

In 1995, about 806,000 persons aged 65–70 had significant earnings resulting in the withholding of benefits by the retirement test. About 1,659,000 persons aged 65 or older realized an increase in their benefit amount because of their earnings.

Beneficiaries Affected by the Annual Earnings Test, 1989
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 56 No. 1 (released January 1993)
by Joseph Bondar
The Earnings Test and the Short-Run Work Response to Its Elimination
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 53 No. 9 (released September 1990)
by Michael D. Packard
The Effects of the Social Security Earnings Test on the Labor-Market Activity of Older Americans: A Review of the Evidence
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 53 No. 5 (released May 1990)
by Michael V. Leonesio
Beneficiaries Affected by the Annual Earnings Test in 1982
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 49 No. 5 (released May 1986)
by Barbara A. Lingg
Beneficiaries Affected by the Annual Earnings Test in 1980
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 47 No. 11 (released November 1984)
by Barbara A. Lingg
Beneficiaries Affected by the Annual Earnings Test in 1978
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 46 No. 4 (released April 1983)
by Barbara A. Lingg
Beneficiaries Affected by the Annual Earnings Test in 1977
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 43 No. 12 (released December 1980)
by Barbara A. Lingg
Distribution of Increased Benefits Under Alternative Earnings Tests
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 43 No. 9 (released September 1980)
by Louis Esposito, Lucy B. Mallan, and David Podoff
Tax Impact From Elimination of the Retirement Test
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 42 No. 9 (released September 1979)
by Josephine G. Gordon and Robert N. Schoeplein
Beneficiaries Affected by the Annual Earnings Test in 1975
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 41 No. 12 (released December 1978)
by Barbara A. Lingg
Beneficiaries Affected by Annual Earnings Test in 1973
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 40 No. 9 (released September 1977)
by Barbara A. Lingg
Retired-Worker Beneficiaries Affected by the Annual Earnings Test in 1971
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 38 No. 8 (released August 1975)
by Barbara A. Lingg
The Retirement Test: An International Study
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 37 No. 7 (released July 1974)
by Elizabeth Kreitler Kirkpatrick
The Retirement Test: Its Effect on Older Workers' Earnings
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 31 No. 6 (released June 1968)
by Kenneth G. Sander
Earnings Test Under Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance: Basis, Background, and Experience
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 27 No. 5 (released May 1964)
by Robert J. Myers
Old-Age and Survivors Insurance: Operation of the Annual Retirement Test
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 19 No. 3 (released March 1956)
by Aaron Krute
Old-Age and Survivors Insurance: Retirement Test Under the 1954 Amendments
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 17 No. 12 (released December 1954)
by Robert J. Myers
Basis and Background of the Retirement Test
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 17 No. 3 (released March 1954)
by Robert J. Myers
Old-Age and Survivors Insurance: Retirement Test Experience
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 16 No. 11 (released November 1953)
by Robert J. Myers

Work and Retirement

Incentivizing Delayed Claiming of Social Security Retirement Benefits Before Reaching the Full Retirement Age
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 74 No. 4 (released November 2014)
by Melissa A. Z. Knoll and Anya Olsen

Claiming Social Security retirement benefits before the full retirement age (FRA) results in permanently lower benefits, while delaying claiming permanently increases benefits. This article uses Modeling Income in the Near Term data to determine the socioeconomic characteristics of individuals who claim at various ages. The authors then describe a number of novel approaches aimed at encouraging individuals to delay claiming in the months and years before reaching their FRA. Lastly, the authors model one of those approaches to examine how a 1-year delay in claiming affects benefits and poverty in the future.

African Americans: Description of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income Participation and Benefit Levels Using the American Community Survey
Research and Statistics Note No. 2014-01 (released January 2014)
by Patricia P. Martin and John L. Murphy

The authors use American Community Survey (ACS) data to compare Social Security and Supplemental Security Income program participation and benefit levels of African Americans with those of the general population. The ACS data show that African Americans are more likely to be Supplemental Security Income recipients, and less likely to be Social Security beneficiaries. Higher rates of poverty, disability, and mortality among African Americans mean that they are also more likely to rely on Social Security survivor and disability benefits than are other beneficiaries.

How Do Trends in Women's Labor Force Activity and Marriage Patterns Affect Social Security Replacement Rates?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 4 (released November 2013)
by April Yanyuan Wu, Nadia S. Karamcheva, Alicia H. Munnell, and Patrick J. Purcell

Changes in the role of women in the economy and in the family have affected both the amount and the type of Social Security benefits they receive in retirement. Women's labor force participation rate increased from less than 40 percent in 1950 to more than 70 percent in 2011. Over much of the same period, marriage rates fell and divorce rates rose. This article examines how women's higher earnings and lower marriage rates have affected Social Security replacement rates over time for individuals and for households.

Psychosocial Factors and Financial Literacy
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 1 (released February 2013)
by John L. Murphy

This article explores how psychosocial variables relate to financial literacy. Although prior research has examined mainstay economic variables, this study examines whether previously unexplored variables—financial satisfaction, hopelessness, and religiosity—impact financial literacy. The study uses Health and Retirement Study data and finds that financial satisfaction and religiosity are associated with financial literacy.

Modeling Behavioral Responses to Eliminating the Retirement Earnings Test
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 73 No. 1 (released February 2013)
by Anya Olsen and Kathleen Romig

The retirement earnings test (RET) is an often-misunderstood aspect of the Social Security program. Policymakers have proposed reforming the RET as a way to encourage working at older ages. However, this could also cause earlier benefit claiming. We use Modeling Income in the Near Term data to analyze the complete repeal of the earnings test for beneficiaries aged 60 or older, first assuming no behavioral responses to repeal and secondly assuming changes to benefit claiming and workforce participation behaviors. Our lifetime results show that the assumed behavioral response—particularly the benefit claiming change—has a bigger effect than the RET policy change itself.

How Did the Recession of 2007–2009 Affect the Wealth and Retirement of the Near Retirement Age Population in the Health and Retirement Study?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 4 (released November 2012)
by Alan L. Gustman, Thomas L. Steinmeier, and Nahid Tabatabai

This article uses household wealth and labor market data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to investigate how the recent "Great Recession" has affected the wealth and retirement of the Early Boomer cohort, those in the population who were just approaching retirement age at the beginning of the recession. The retirement wealth of people aged 53–58 before the onset of the recession in 2006 declined by a relatively modest 2.8 percent by 2010. For members of older cohorts, wealth had increased by about 5 percent over a comparable age span. The wealth holdings of poorer households were least affected by the recession. Relative losses were greatest for those who initially had the highest wealth when the recession began. The retirement behavior of the Early Boomer cohort looks similar, at least to date, to the behavior observed for members of older cohorts at comparable ages.

Factors Affecting Initial Disability Allowance Rates for the Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income Programs: The Role of the Demographic and Diagnostic Composition of Applicants and Local Labor Market Conditions
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 4 (released November 2012)
by Kalman Rupp

Various factors outside the control of decision makers may affect the rate at which disability applications are allowed or denied during the initial step of eligibility determination in the Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. This article, using individual-level data on applications, focuses on the role of three important factors—the demographic characteristics of applicants, the diagnostic mix of applicants, and the local unemployment rate—in affecting the probability of an initial allowance and state allowance rates. A random sample of initial determination administrative records for the 1993–2008 period is used for the analysis in a fixed-effects multiple regression framework. The empirical results show that the demographic and diagnostic characteristics of applicants and the local unemployment rate substantially affect the initial allowance rate. An increase in the local unemployment rate tends to be associated with a decrease in the initial allowance rate. This negative relationship holds for adult applicants in both the DI and SSI programs and for SSI childhood applicants.

The Increasing Labor Force Participation of Older Workers and its Effect on the Income of the Aged
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 1 (released February 2012)
by Michael V. Leonesio, Benjamin Bridges, Robert V. Gesumaria, and Linda Del Bene

Higher labor force participation rates for people aged 62–79 are associated with a dramatic increase in the share of their total money income attributable to earnings. For persons aged 65–69, the earnings share increased from 28 percent in 1980 to 42 percent in 2009. Two decades ago, Social Security benefits and earnings were roughly equal shares of total money income (about 30 percent); the earnings share is now more than 12 percentage points larger. The marked increase in the importance of earnings as an income source is also evident throughout the 62–79 age range among Social Security beneficiaries.

Behavioral and Psychological Aspects of the Retirement Decision
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 4 (released November 2011)
by Melissa A. Z. Knoll

The majority of research dealing with the retirement decision has focused on the health and wealth aspects of retirement. Research in the areas of judgment and decision making and behavioral economics suggests that there may be a number of behavioral factors that influence the retirement decision as well. This review highlights such factors and offers a unique perspective on potential determinants of retirement behavior, including anchoring and framing effects, affective forecasting, hyperbolic discounting, and the planning fallacy. The author describes findings from previous research, as well as draws novel connections between existing decision-making research and the retirement decision.

The Research Contributions of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 4 (released December 2009)
by Steven A. Sass

This article reviews the research contributions of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College over its 10-year history and their implications for Social Security and retirement income policy in three major areas: (1) Social Security's long-term financing shortfall, (2) the adequacy of retirement incomes, and (3) labor force participation at older ages as a means to improve retirement income security. The center has received substantial funding support from the Social Security Administration (SSA) in each area and has also successfully leveraged SSA's investment by attracting funding from other sources.

Retiring in Debt? Differences between the 1995 and 2004 Near-Retiree Cohorts
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 2 (released July 2009)
by Chris E. Anguelov and Christopher R. Tamborini

This article uses the U.S. Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances to examine near retirees' (aged 50 to 61) debt holdings in 1995 and 2004. Employing a variety of measures on household borrowing, our results show that near retirees in 2004—the leading edge of the baby-boom cohort—had more consumer and housing debt than their counterparts in 1995. We observe a modest increase in the median debt service and debt-to-assets ratios between the two cohorts, but no statistical difference in their respective average. Analysis of several demographic and socioeconomic subgroups reveals certain population segments, such as single female households, with significantly higher debt service ratios in 2004.

Social Security and Marginal Returns to Work Near Retirement
Issue Paper No. 2009-02 (released April 2009)
by Gayle L. Reznik, David A. Weaver, and Andrew G. Biggs

Using the Social Security Administration's MINT (Modeling Income in the Near Term) model, this paper calculates the marginal returns to work near retirement, as measured by the increase in benefits associated with an additional year of employment at the end of an individual's work life. With exceptions for certain population subgroups, the analysis finds that marginal returns on Social Security taxes paid near retirement are generally low. The paper also tests the effects on marginal returns of a variety of potential Social Security policy changes designed to improve incentives to work.

Estimated Retirement Benefits in the Social Security Statement
Research and Statistics Note No. 2008-05 (released November 2008)
by Glenn R. Springstead, David A. Weaver, and Jason J. Fichtner
An Overview of the Railroad Retirement Program
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 2 (released October 2008)
by Kevin Whitman

The Railroad Retirement program was established in the 1930s. It provides retirement, survivor, unemployment, and sickness benefits to individuals who have spent a substantial portion of their career in railroad employment, as well as to these workers' families. This article describes the history, benefit structure, and funding of the Railroad Retirement program.

Estimating the First Instance of Substantive-Covered Earnings in the Labor Market
Research and Statistics Note No. 2008-04 (released September 2008)
by Michael Compson
Trends in Mortality Differentials and Life Expectancy for Male Social Security-Covered Workers, by Socioeconomic Status
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 3 (released April 2008)
by Hilary Waldron

This article presents an analysis of trends in mortality differentials and life expectancy by socioeconomic status for male Social Security-covered workers aged 60 or older. Mortality differentials, cohort life expectancies, and period life expectancies by average relative earnings are estimated. Period life expectancy estimates for the United States are also compared with those of other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

Have People Delayed Claiming Retirement Benefits? Responses to Changes in Social Security Rules
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 2 (released February 2008)
by Jae G. Song and Joyce Manchester

Using a 1 percent sample of Social Security Administration data, this article documents and analyzes responses in the entitlement age for old-age benefits following the recent changes in Social Security rules. Both rules, the removal of the retirement earnings test (RET) for persons who are at the full retirement age (FRA) through age 69 in 2000 or later and a gradual increase in the FRA for those who reach age 62 in 2000 or later, are expected to affect the age at which people claim Social Security retirement benefits (or entitlement age) and the work behavior of older Americans.

New Evidence on Earnings and Benefit Claims Following Changes in the Retirement Earnings Test in 2000
ORES Working Paper No. 107 (released June 2006)
by Jae G. Song and Joyce Manchester

In April 2000, Congress enacted the Senior Citizens Freedom to Work Act of 2000, which removed the retirement earnings test for individuals at the full retirement age and older. This paper examines the labor force activity of workers aged 65–69 relative to older and younger workers in response to the removal of the earnings test. We use the 1 percent sample of Social Security administrative data that covers the period from 4 years before to 4 years following the removal of the test. Quantile regression methods allow us to identify the earnings levels of workers who change their work effort.

Defined Contribution Pension Plans and the Supplemental Security Income Program
Policy Brief No. 2006-01 (released March 2006)
by Rene Parent

This policy brief analyzes changes in the employer-sponsored pension system and the relationship of these changes to the Supplemental Security Income program's treatment of retirement plans. SSI does not treat assets in defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans in the same manner. The primary difference is that a potential SSI recipient has access to the funds in a defined contribution plan, but a participant in the defined benefit plan has no access to the pension until attaining a specific age. The increasing prevalence of the defined contribution retirement plan and the decreasing prevalence of the defined benefit plan is one significant change—a trend that has gained momentum since the mid-1980s. The importance of these issues relates to the extent of pension plan holdings among SSI applicants and recipients, which is in turn directly related to their involvement in the labor force. The policy brief discusses three alternate approaches to SSI treatment of defined contribution retirement plans, one of which is to retain the current policy.

Evaluating the Initial Impact of Eliminating the Retirement Earnings Test
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 65 No. 1 (released May 2004)
by Jae G. Song

How did workers aged 65–69 respond to the removal of the retirement earnings test in 2000? Using Social Security administrative data matched with data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, the author finds that the higher earners in this group increased their earnings, while the lower earners did not. The author reports an acceleration of benefit applications by workers aged 65–69 but no clear evidence of increased employment in this age group.

The Economics of Retirement: A Nontechnical Guide
ORES Working Paper No. 66 (released April 1995)
by Michael V. Leonesio

This paper provides a nontechnical explanation of the basic ideas that underpin economists' thinking about work and retirement decisions and discusses and elaborates on the basic economic model of retirement. The paper begins with a simple economic model of an individual's work decision, to explain the construction and logic of this model, and to show how the model can be used to make basic predictions about factors that might plausibly affect the timing of retirement. From this starting point—which essentially describes the economic retirement models before the late 1970s—the paper then explains how the model has been extended during the past 2 decades. The increasing sophistication and complexity of the models reflect scientific progress in which new retirement research incorporates the findings of previous efforts, the desire to incorporate more realism into the models, and the availability of improved data. The progress in economic modeling is emphasized as the contributions of various influential studies are reviewed.

The Work and Retirement Decisions of Older Women: A Literature Review
ORES Working Paper No. 61 (released May 1994)
by David A. Weaver

This paper reviews the economic literature on the work and retirement decisions of older women. Economic studies generally find that married women respond to the financial reward for work (for example, wages) in making their work and retirement decisions, but that they do not respond to unearned income and wealth (for example, the value of lifetime Social Security benefits). Unmarried women are found to respond to all type of financial variables. Most economic studies find that the family plays only a limited role in the work and retirement decisions of women. The retirement status of the husband does influence the wife's retirement decision, but the health status of the husband does not. The presence of dependents in the household, regardless of whether they are children or parents, is not found to influence work and retirement among women. The relevance of these results to Social Security policy is discussed.

There are a number of reasons to be cautious about the results. The literature to date is small; it is based on data that are deficient in some respects, and it contains studies that have methodological problems. These problems are discussed and prospects for future research are explored.

Social Security and Older Workers
ORES Working Paper No. 53 (released December 1991)
by Michael V. Leonesio

Many observers have noted that the long-term decline in labor force participation by older Americans may reflect the evolution of social institutions that effectively discourage work. Often-cited factors include employer discrimination against older workers, private pension plans that penalize continued employment, and the Social Security system. Various policies, such as eliminating Social Security's retirement test, have been proposed with a view to eliminating or lessening employment barriers.

This paper summarizes the economic evidence that addresses the role played by the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) programs in retirement decisions. OASI is shown to have statistically significant effects on both the timing of retirement and the amount of post-retirement work; however, the influence is not large relative to the many other factors that determine the labor-supply decisions of older workers. Consequently, changes in Social Security policy of the type and magnitude that are politically feasible are unlikely to result in large changes in retirement behavior.

Simulating Aggregate and Distributional Effects of Various Plans for Modifying the Retirement Earnings Test
ORES Working Paper No. 46 (released July 1990)
by David Pattison, Benjamin Bridges, Michael V. Leonesio, and Bernard Wixon

Social Security's retirement test continues to receive considerable attention among policymakers. During the past several years a variety of proposals have been advanced that would modify or eliminate the test for persons aged 65–69. In January 1989, we completed a study report, prepared for SSA internal use, that examined several of these proposals, analyzing their effect on earnings, taxes, and benefits in the first year of implementation, assumed to be 1990. The analysis included both aggregate estimates and estimates for selected population subgroups.

Although the specific proposals for modifying the retirement test have changed somewhat during the past 2 years, continued congressional interest has prompted the release of this initial version of our research for public discussion. Because we are in the process of revising the report for final publication, readers are cautioned that numbers and interpretations contained in this paper are subject to change.

A Review of the Net Revenue Estimates in Robbins and Robbins, "Paying People Not to Work"
ORES Working Paper No. 41 (released January 1990)
by David Pattison

This note discusses the net revenue estimates in the report "Paying People Not to Work: the Economic Cost of the Social Security Retirement Earnings Limit," by Aldona Robbins and Gary Robbins.

Physically Demanding Occupations, Health, and Work After Retirement: Findings From the New Beneficiary Survey
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 51 No. 11 (released November 1988)
by Karen C. Holden
Jobs of Persons Working After Receiving Retired-Worker Benefits
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 50 No. 11 (released November 1987)
by Howard M. Iams
Employment of Retired-Worker Women
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 49 No. 3 (released March 1986)
by Howard M. Iams
Characteristics of the Longest Job for New Retired Workers: Findings From the New Beneficiary Survey
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 48 No. 3 (released March 1985)
by Howard M. Iams
Social Security and the Labor Supply of Aged Men: Evidence From the U.S. Time Series
ORES Working Paper No. 21 (released December 1980)
by Louis Esposito and Michael D. Packard

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of the social security system on the labor supply of aged men using U.S. time series data for the period 1947 to 1975. The specific phenomena to be explained is the dramatic decrease in the labor supply of aged men during this period. Between 1947 and 1975, the annual labor force participation rate of men 65 and over decreased from 47.8 percent to 21.7 percent—a decrease of 55 percent. In terms of annual hours worked per capita for men 65 and over, there was a decrease from about 880 hours to 312 hours during this period—a decrease of 65 percent. The specific focus of the analysis will be on the relative importance of social security in explaining this decrease in labor supply.

Subjective Retirement
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 42 No. 11 (released November 1979)
by Janet H. Murray
Work Status and Income Change, 1968–72: Retirement History Study Preview
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 39 No. 12 (released December 1976)
by Alan Fox
Retirement History Study's First Four Years: Work, Health, and Living Arrangements
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 39 No. 12 (released December 1976)
by Kathleen Bond
Women's Worklives and Future Social Security Benefits
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 39 No. 4 (released April 1976)
by Lucy B. Mallan
Work After Retirement: Some Psychological Factors
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 38 No. 7 (released July 1975)
by George L. Maddox and Gerda G. Fillenbaum
Work After Retirement
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 36 No. 9 (released September 1973)
by Gerda G. Fillenbaum and George L. Maddox
The Elderly Aid The Elderly: The Senior Friends Program
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 35 No. 11 (released November 1972)
by Naomi Breslau and Marie R. Haug
Work Experience of Men Claiming Retirement Benefits, 1966
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 32 No. 8 (released August 1969)
by Lenore E. Bixby and E. Eleanor Rings
Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance: Earnings of Older Workers and Retired-Workers Beneficiaries
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 28 No. 5 (released May 1965)
by Marie C. Trafton
Why Do Beneficiaries Retire? Who Among Them Return to Work?
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 18 No. 5 (released May 1955)
by Margaret L. Stecker
Duration of Employment and Mobility of Workers: Industry Variations, 1947
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 14 No. 1 (released January 1951)
by Harper R. Fortune
Beneficiaries Prefer to Work
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 14 No. 1 (released January 1951)
by Margaret L. Stecker
Why Beneficiaries Returned to Work
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 8, No. 4 (released April 1945)
by Edna C. Wentworth

Other

Retiring in Debt? An Update on the 2007 Near-Retiree Cohort
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 70 No. 4 (released November 2010)
by Chris E. Anguelov and Christopher R. Tamborini

This research note uses 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) data to update work reported in an earlier article, "Retiring in Debt? Differences between the 1995 and 2004 Near-Retiree Cohorts." The analysis documents whether there have been changes in the debt holdings of near-retirees in 2007, a point in time reflecting the start of the recent financial and economic crisis, relative to 2004. Results show that near-retirees' debt levels in 2007 were modestly higher than in 2004, overall and across a number of subgroups. The results do not capture the full impact of the financial crisis, which manifested at the end of 2007 and in 2008.

Retiring in Debt? Differences between the 1995 and 2004 Near-Retiree Cohorts
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 69 No. 2 (released July 2009)
by Chris E. Anguelov and Christopher R. Tamborini

This article uses the U.S. Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances to examine near retirees' (aged 50 to 61) debt holdings in 1995 and 2004. Employing a variety of measures on household borrowing, our results show that near retirees in 2004—the leading edge of the baby-boom cohort—had more consumer and housing debt than their counterparts in 1995. We observe a modest increase in the median debt service and debt-to-assets ratios between the two cohorts, but no statistical difference in their respective average. Analysis of several demographic and socioeconomic subgroups reveals certain population segments, such as single female households, with significantly higher debt service ratios in 2004.

An Overview of the Railroad Retirement Program
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 2 (released October 2008)
by Kevin Whitman

The Railroad Retirement program was established in the 1930s. It provides retirement, survivor, unemployment, and sickness benefits to individuals who have spent a substantial portion of their career in railroad employment, as well as to these workers' families. This article describes the history, benefit structure, and funding of the Railroad Retirement program.

Federal Employees' Retirement System Act of 1986
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 49 No. 11 (released November 1986)
by Wilmer L. Kerns
Home Equity Conversion Plans as a Source of Retirement Income
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 48 No. 9 (released September 1985)
by Philip B. Springer
Report on the Earnings Sharing Implementation Study
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 48 No. 3 (released March 1985)
Recent Changes to the Railroad Retirement Act
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 46 No. 12 (released December 1983)
Recent Changes to the Railroad Retirement Act
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 44 No. 12 (released December 1981)
Report of the President's Commission on Pension Policy: Executive Summary
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 44 No. 5 (released May 1981)
Mandatory Retirement and Labor-Force Participation of Respondents in the Retirement History Study
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 43 No. 11 (released November 1980)
by David T. Barker and Robert L. Clark
Older Workers Uninsured for Retired-Worker Benefits
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 41 No. 12 (released December 1978)
by Lucy B. Mallan and Donald Cox
Support Systems of Widows in the Chicago Area
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 41 No. 1 (released January 1978)
by Helena Znaniecka Lopata
Federal Civil-Service Annuitants and Social Security, December 1975
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 40 No. 11 (released November 1977)
by Daniel N. Price and Andrea Novotny
Labor-Force Status of Nonmarried Women on the Threshold of Retirement
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 37 No. 9 (released September 1974)
by Sally R. Sherman
The Elderly Aid The Elderly: The Senior Friends Program
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 35 No. 11 (released November 1972)
by Naomi Breslau and Marie R. Haug
The Railroad Retirement Amendments of 1970
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 33 No. 11 (released November 1970)
by Orlo Nichols
Private and Public Retirement Pensions: Findings from the 1968 Survey of the Aged
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 33 No. 9 (released September 1970)
by Walter W. Kolodrubetz
Railroad Retirement Supplemental Annuities Revised
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 33 No. 6 (released June 1970)
Children's Allowances and Income-Tested Supplements: Costs and Redistributive Effects
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 33 No. 2 (released February 1970)
by Dorothy S. Projector
Civil-Service Retirement Program, October 20, 1969
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 33 No. 2 (released February 1970)
by Marice C. Hart
Federal Civil-Service Annuitants and Social Security
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 32 No. 7 (released July 1969)
by Elizabeth M. Heidbreder
Coordination Between the Railroad Retirement and Social Security Systems
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 31 No. 9 (released September 1968)
by Abraham M. Niessen
The Railroad Retirement Amendments of 1968
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 31 No. 6 (released June 1968)
by Orlo Nichols
Public Policy and Private Pension Programs
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 28 No. 7 (released July 1965)
Cost-of-Living Increases in Military Retired Pay
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 27 No. 2 (released February 1964)
by Marice C. Hart
Amendments to the Civil Service Retirement Act, 1962
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 26 No. 2 (released February 1963)
by John P. Jones
United Nations Joint Staff Pension Plan
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 25 No. 3 (released March 1962)
by Robert J. Myers
State and Local Government Employees Covered by OASDI and Staff Retirement Systems
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 25 No. 3 (released March 1962)
by Joseph Krislov, Robert N. Heller, and Philip R. Lerner
1961 Amendments Affecting the Civil Service Retirement Act
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 24 No. 12 (released December 1961)
by John P. Jones
Forfeiture of Civil-Service Retirement Benefits
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 24 No. 10 (released October 1961)
by Joseph Krislov
Veterans' Pension Act of 1959
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 22 No. 12 (released December 1959)
by Thomas Karter
Civil-Service Retirement Program, 1959
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 22 No. 7 (released July 1959)
by John P. Jones
1959 Amendments to the Railroad Retirement Act
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 22 No. 7 (released July 1959)
by Jacob A. Lazerson
Civil Service Retirement Act Amendments, 1958
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 21 No. 12 (released December 1958)
by John P. Jones
Civil Service Retirement Act Amendments, 1957
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 20 No. 12 (released December 1957)
by Jacob A. Lazerson
Tennessee Valley Authority Retirement Plan: Coordination with Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 20 No. 9 (released September 1957)
by Robert J. Myers
Survivor Benefit Protection for Federal Judges
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 20 No. 4 (released April 1957)
by Paul W. Nowlin
1955 Amendments to the Railroad Retirement Act
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 18 No. 10 (released October 1955)
by John A. MacDougall
Amendments to the Civil Service Retirement Act
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 15 No. 11 (released November 1952)
Amendments to the Civil Service Retirement Act
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 13 No. 12 (released December 1950)
Old-Age Retirement: Social and Economic Implications
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 13 No. 9 (released September 1950)
by Robert M. Ball
Why Insured Older Workers Have Quarters Without Wage Credits
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 13 No. 4 (released April 1950)
Amendments to the Civil Service Retirement Act
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 12 No. 11 (released November 1949)
Civil-Service Refunds
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 12 No. 11 (released November 1949)
Civil Service Refunds
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 12 No. 2 (released February 1949)
Recent Amendments to the Civil Service Retirement Act
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 11, No. 4 (released April 1948)
by Robert J. Myers
The 1946 Amendments to the Railroad Retirement and Railroad Unemployment Insurance Acts
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 9, No. 12 (released December 1946)
by Jack M. Elkin
The Second Actuarial Valuation fo the Railroad Retirement Act
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 7, No. 5 (released May 1944)
Social Security for Farm People
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 7, No. 4 (released April 1944)
by Arthur J. Altmeyer
State and Local Employees Covered by Government Retirement Systems
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 6, No. 7 (released July 1943)
by Dorothy McCamman
Benefit Rights Under Multiple Social Insurance and Public Retirement Systems
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 6, No. 5 (released May 1943)
by Ida C. Merriam
The Sixth Year of the Railroad Retirement System
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 5, No. 10 (released October 1942)
by Jack M. Elkin
Federal Contributory Retirement Systems Other Than Civil Service
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 5, No. 1 (released January 1942)
by Ruth Reticker
Benefits and Beneficiaries Under the Civil Service Retirement Act
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 4 (released April 1941)
by Ruth Reticker
Survivor Payments Under the Railroad Retirement Act
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 2, No. 10 (released October 1939)
by E. M. Fitch and J. Edward Ely
Retirement Payments for Railroad Workers
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 2, No. 7 (released July 1939)
by A. G. Silverman and Joseph J. Senturia
Domestic Workers in Private Homes
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 2, No. 3 (released March 1939)
by Rae L. Needleman