Employment at Older Ages and Social Security Benefit Claiming

by Patrick J. Purcell
Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 76 No. 4, 2016
Table equivalent for Chart 1. LFPR for men and women aged 55 or older by age group, selected years 1980–2015
Year 55–59 60–64 65–69 70 or older
  Men
1980 82 61 29 13
1985 80 56 24 11
1990 80 55 26 11
1991 79 55 25 11
1992 79 55 26 11
1993 78 54 25 10
1994 77 53 27 12
1995 77 53 27 12
1996 79 55 28 12
1997 79 54 28 12
1998 78 55 28 11
1999 78 55 28 12
2000 77 55 30 12
2001 77 56 30 12
2002 78 58 32 11
2003 78 57 33 12
2004 78 57 33 13
2005 78 58 34 14
2006 78 59 34 14
2007 78 59 34 14
2008 79 60 36 15
2009 78 61 36 15
2010 78 60 36 15
2011 78 59 37 15
2012 78 61 37 16
2013 78 60 37 16
2014 77 62 36 16
2015 77 62 37 16
  Women
1980 49 33 15 5
1985 50 33 14 4
1990 55 36 17 5
1991 56 35 17 5
1992 57 37 16 5
1993 57 37 16 5
1994 59 38 18 5
1995 59 38 18 5
1996 60 39 18 5
1997 61 40 18 5
1998 61 39 18 5
1999 62 39 18 5
2000 61 40 19 6
2001 62 42 20 6
2002 64 44 21 6
2003 65 45 23 6
2004 65 45 23 7
2005 66 46 24 7
2006 67 47 24 7
2007 67 48 26 8
2008 68 49 26 8
2009 68 50 27 8
2010 68 51 27 8
2011 68 50 27 8
2012 67 50 28 8
2013 67 50 28 9
2014 66 50 27 9
2015 66 50 28 9
SOURCE: BLS Employment and Earnings (January issues).
Table equivalent for Chart 2. Number and percentage of men and women aged 62–66 who are fully insured for Social Security retired-worker benefits, 1984–2014
Year Number (in millions) Percentage
Men Women Men Women
1984 4.5 3.7 92 66
1985 4.5 3.8 92 66
1986 4.6 3.8 93 66
1987 4.6 3.9 93 66
1988 4.6 3.8 93 66
1989 4.6 3.9 93 67
1990 4.6 3.8 92 67
1991 4.5 3.8 91 67
1992 4.5 3.8 91 67
1993 4.5 3.8 91 68
1994 4.5 3.7 91 68
1995 4.4 3.7 91 69
1996 4.4 3.7 92 70
1997 4.4 3.8 92 71
1998 4.4 3.8 92 72
1999 4.5 3.9 92 73
2000 4.6 4.1 92 74
2001 4.7 4.2 91 74
2002 4.8 4.3 92 75
2003 5.0 4.5 92 77
2004 5.3 4.8 92 78
2005 5.6 5.1 93 79
2006 5.8 5.4 93 80
2007 5.9 5.6 93 81
2008 6.3 6.0 93 82
2009 6.7 6.4 94 83
2010 7.0 6.7 94 84
2011 7.3 7.1 94 85
2012 7.7 7.6 94 86
2013 7.9 7.8 93 86
2014 7.9 7.9 93 86
SOURCES: SSA OCACT and Office of Retirement Policy.
NOTES: “Percentage” represents the fully insured share of the population aged 62–66 residing in the United States (adjusted for Census undercount) and outlying areas; federal civilian employees and persons in the U.S. armed forces abroad and their dependents; noncitizens living abroad who are insured for Social Security benefits; and all other U.S. citizens abroad.
Age is as of year-end.
Table equivalent for Chart 3. Annual average number of men and women aged 62 eligible for and claiming retired-worker benefits, various periods 1985–2014
Year range Number (in thousands) Claiming rate (%)
Eligible Claiming
  Men
1985–1989 865 364 42.1
1990–1994 831 371 44.6
1995–1999 819 361 44.1
2000–2004 952 376 39.5
2005–2009 1,196 403 33.7
2010–2014 1,399 418 29.9
  Women
1985–1989 636 335 52.6
1990–1994 631 320 50.7
1995–1999 653 327 50.0
2000–2004 808 360 44.5
2005–2009 1,080 412 38.1
2010–2014 1,347 447 33.2
SOURCES: SSA OCACT and Office of Retirement Policy.
NOTES: Data are for men and women aged 62 at year-end.
“Eligible” population is the number fully insured at the beginning of the given year minus the number who are already receiving retired-worker, widow(er), or spouse benefits.
“Claiming” population is the number of new awards in force, including those withheld or otherwise suspended.
Claiming rates are calculated using unrounded numbers.
Table equivalent for Chart 4. Annual average number of men and women aged 65 eligible for and claiming retired-worker benefits, various periods 1985–2014
Year range Number (in thousands) Claiming rate (%)
Eligible Claiming
  Men
1985–1989 289 213 73.8
1990–1994 271 201 73.9
1995–1999 253 176 69.5
2000–2004 300 243 81.0
2005–2009 442 142 32.1
2010–2014 606 117 19.3
  Women
1985–1989 130 118 90.8
1990–1994 137 122 88.7
1995–1999 152 119 78.8
2000–2004 192 159 82.8
2005–2009 317 118 37.3
2010–2014 495 116 23.4
SOURCES: SSA OCACT and Office of Retirement Policy.
NOTES: Data are for men and women aged 65 at year-end.
“Eligible” population is the number fully insured at the beginning of the given year minus the number who are already receiving retired-worker benefits (including those converted from disabled-worker benefits at FRA), widow(er) benefits, or spouse benefits.
“Claiming” population is the number of new awards in force, including those withheld or otherwise suspended.
Claiming rates are calculated using unrounded numbers.
Table equivalent for Chart 5. Annual average number of men and women aged 66 eligible for and claiming retired-worker benefits, various periods 1985–2014
Year range Number (in thousands) Claiming rate (%)
Eligible Claiming
  Men
1985–1989 147 38 26.0
1990–1994 125 41 33.0
1995–1999 125 36 28.7
2000–2004 59 40 68.1
2005–2009 257 203 79.1
2010–2014 457 309 67.8
  Women
1985–1989 51 19 36.7
1990–1994 48 21 45.2
1995–1999 58 20 34.0
2000–2004 37 25 67.2
2005–2009 157 134 85.8
2010–2014 337 218 64.6
SOURCES: SSA OCACT and Office of Retirement Policy.
NOTES: Data are for men and women aged 66 at year-end.
“Eligible” population is the number fully insured at the beginning of the given year minus the number who are already receiving retired-worker benefits (including those converted from disabled-worker benefits at FRA), widow(er) benefits, or spouse benefits.
“Claiming” population is the number of new awards in force, including those withheld or otherwise suspended.
Claiming rates are calculated using unrounded numbers.
Table equivalent for Chart 6. Disabled-worker and retired-worker beneficiaries at selected ages as percentages of the insured population at those ages: By sex, 1985–2014
Year Disabled worker Retired worker
62–64 65 62–64 65 66
  Men
1985 13 0 45 81 90
1986 13 0 47 83 88
1987 13 0 48 84 89
1988 13 0 48 84 89
1989 12 0 47 85 90
1990 12 0 48 86 92
1991 12 0 49 85 91
1992 13 0 49 86 92
1993 13 0 49 87 92
1994 13 0 50 86 92
1995 14 0 49 86 92
1996 14 0 49 85 91
1997 14 0 47 86 91
1998 14 0 47 84 91
1999 14 0 46 85 90
2000 14 0 46 96 98
2001 14 0 45 96 98
2002 14 0 44 96 98
2003 14 3 42 91 98
2004 14 5 41 81 99
2005 14 7 40 74 97
2006 14 10 38 66 97
2007 15 12 37 59 95
2008 15 15 35 53 94
2009 15 15 36 53 93
2010 15 16 37 52 92
2011 15 15 36 51 91
2012 16 16 34 50 89
2013 16 16 32 49 88
2014 16 16 30 46 86
  Women
1985 8 0 50 77 82
1986 8 0 51 78 80
1987 8 0 51 77 81
1988 8 0 51 77 80
1989 8 0 51 78 81
1990 8 0 51 79 82
1991 8 0 50 78 82
1992 9 0 50 79 83
1993 9 0 50 80 83
1994 9 0 50 79 83
1995 9 0 50 79 83
1996 10 0 50 79 83
1997 10 0 49 80 83
1998 11 0 49 79 84
1999 11 0 48 80 83
2000 11 0 49 85 87
2001 11 0 47 87 87
2002 12 0 46 87 88
2003 12 2 44 84 89
2004 12 4 43 76 90
2005 12 6 42 72 88
2006 13 9 41 66 89
2007 13 11 40 61 88
2008 13 13 38 55 87
2009 13 14 39 55 86
2010 13 14 39 54 86
2011 13 13 38 53 84
2012 14 14 36 53 83
2013 14 14 35 52 83
2014 14 14 33 50 81
SOURCES: SSA OCACT and Office of Retirement Policy.
NOTE: Age is as of year-end.