Policy Option Projections

Projected Effects on Beneficiaries—Summary Comparisons

Summary Comparison vs. Scheduled Benefits
Policy option 2030 2050 2070
Median benefit change overall Percent with lower benefits Percent with higher benefits Median benefit change overall Percent with lower benefits Percent with higher benefits Median benefit change overall Percent with lower benefits Percent with higher benefits
  Benefit formula changes
Credit earnings to caregivers' records
Up to 5 years at one-half average wage when caring for children under age six 0% 1% 22% 0% 1% 27% 0% 1% 29%
Increase the computation period from 35 years
To 40 years (does not apply to DI) -1% 55% 0% -4% 80% 0% -4% 83% 0%
Index PIA factors to longevity
Multiply factors by the ratio of life expectancy at 67 in 2016 to the life expectancy at age 67 in the 4th year prior to the year of initial benefit eligibility 0% 21% 0% -4% 79% 0% -9% 90% 0%
Price index the PIA formula
Reduce the formula factors by the difference in growth rates of wages and prices -1% 53% 0% -21% 95% 0% -37% 100% 0%
Protect the bottom 30% of workers from price indexing 0% 37% 0% -10% 74% 0% -18% 78% 0%
Reconfigure the minimum benefit
For workers with 10 to 30 years of coverage (YOC = 4 quarters earned that year) set PIA up to 125% of the monthly poverty level 0% 0% 12% 0% 0% 16% 0% 0% 17%
Reduce the 90%, 32%, and 15% PIA factors
To 90%, 21% and 10% over a 31-year period -3% 66% 0% -12% 93% 0% -17% 95% 0%
To 69.2%, 24.6%, and 11.5% over a 28-year period -2% 55% 0% -17% 89% 0% -22% 92% 0%
Reduce initial benefits
By 5% -4% 71% 0% -5% 95% 0% -5% 97% 0%
  Cost of living adjustment changes
Increase the cost of living adjustment
Base it on the CPI-E 2% 0% 80% 2% 0% 81% 2% 0% 82%
Reduce the cost of living adjustment
Base it on the Chained CPI -3% 89% 0% -3% 89% 0% -3% 90% 0%
  Covered worker changes
Cover all newly hired state and local workers 0% 0% 3% 0% 0% 9% 0% 0% 16%
  Retirement age increases
Increase the EEA from 62 and the FRA from 67
At a rate of 1 month every 2 years starting in 2017 (EEA) and 2023 (FRA) 0% 9% 17% 0% 45% 26% -2% 53% 28%
Increase the FRA from 67
At a rate of 1 month every 2 years starting in 2023 0% 13% 0% -3% 69% 0% -8% 82% 0%
To 68, at a rate of 1 month every 2 years 0% 13% 0% -3% 69% 0% -6% 81% 0%
  Taxation changes
Increase Social Security payroll tax from 12.4%
To 14.6% and then to 16.8% in 2054 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Increase the earnings subject to taxation
All earnings, credit for benefits 0% 0% 9% 0% 0% 18% 0% 0% 21%
90%, credit for benefits 0% 0% 8% 0% 0% 18% 0% 0% 21%
Source: SSA's Office of Retirement Policy, using MINT 6/TR11 Assumptions/SSMBA 4.0.
Note: These results are based on specifications given to staff in the Social Security Administration's Office of Retirement Policy. They do not represent an SSA proposal nor do they reflect the views of the agency.
Summary Comparison vs. Payable Benefits
Policy option 2050 2070
Median benefit change overall Percent with lower benefits Percent with higher benefits Median benefit change overall Percent with lower benefits Percent with higher benefits
  Benefit formula changes
Credit earnings to caregivers' records
Up to 5 years at one-half average wage when caring for children under age six 27% 0% 100% 30% 0% 100%
Increase the computation period from 35 years
To 40 years (does not apply to DI) 22% 0% 99% 24% 0% 100%
Index PIA factors to longevity
Multiply factors by the ratio of life expectancy at 67 in 2016 to the life expectancy at age 67 in the 4th year prior to the year of initial benefit eligibility 22% 1% 99% 17% 1% 99%
Price index the PIA formula
Reduce the formula factors by the difference in growth rates of wages and prices 0% 47% 50% -18% 93% 5%
Protect the bottom 30% of workers from price indexing 14% 16% 80% 5% 40% 57%
Reconfigure the minimum benefit
For workers with 10 to 30 years of coverage (YOC = 4 quarters earned that year) set PIA up to 125% of the monthly poverty level 27% 0% 100% 30% 0% 100%
Reduce the 90%, 32%, and 15% PIA factors
To 90%, 21% and 10% over a 31-year period 11% 8% 86% 6% 9% 77%
To 69.2%, 24.6%, and 11.5% over a 28-year period 5% 3% 68% 1% 3% 96%
Reduce initial benefits
By 5% 21% 0% 100% 23% 0% 100%
  Cost of living adjustment changes
Increase the cost of living adjustment
Base it on the CPI-E 31% 0% 100% 33% 0% 100%
Reduce the cost of living adjustment
Base it on the Chained CPI 23% 0% 100% 25% 0% 100%
  Covered worker changes
Cover all newly hired state and local workers 27% 0% 100% 30% 0% 100%
  Retirement age increases
Increase the EEA from 62 and the FRA from 67
At a rate of 1 month every 2 years starting in 2017 (EEA) and 2023 (FRA) 27% 3% 97% 27% 3% 97%
Increase the FRA from 67
At a rate of 1 month every 2 years starting in 2023 23% 1% 99% 19% 2% 98%
To 68, at a rate of 1 month every 2 years 23% 1% 99% 21% 1% 99%
  Taxation changes
Increase Social Security payroll tax from 12.4%
To 14.6% and then to 16.8% in 2054 27% 0% 100% 30% 0% 100%
Increase the earnings subject to taxation
All earnings, credit for benefits 27% 0% 100% 30% 0% 100%
90%, credit for benefits 27% 0% 100% 30% 0% 100%
Source: SSA's Office of Retirement Policy, using MINT 6/TR11 Assumptions/SSMBA 4.0.
Note: These results are based on specifications given to staff in the Social Security Administration's Office of Retirement Policy. They do not represent an SSA proposal nor do they reflect the views of the agency.