CATEGORY: FAMILY BENEFIT CHANGES
PROPOSAL:Reduce spousal benefits: From 50% to 33% of the worker's PIA
Start date: 2015  End date: not applicable  Proposed by: National Academy of Social Insurance

Projected effects on beneficiaries in 2030

Table 1. Individual benefit changes, 2030: Reduce Spousal Benefits to 33% vs. Scheduled
POPULATION: current law beneficiaries aged 60+
Characteristic All Beneficiaries Affected Beneficiaries
Median Percent Change Percent With Median Percent Change Percent With
Lower Benefits Higher Benefits Lower Benefits Higher Benefits
Total 0% 5% 0% -11% 99% 1%
Sex
Female 0% 9% 0% -11% 100% 0%
Male 0% 1% 0% -10% 95% 5%
Ethnicity/Race
Hispanic 0% 8% 0% -13% 100% 0%
White 0% 5% 0% -10% 99% 1%
Black 0% 3% 0% -12% 100% 0%
Other 0% 8% 0% -12% 99% 1%
Country of Birth
U.S. 0% 5% 0% -10% 99% 1%
Foreign 0% 9% 0% -13% 100% 0%
Age
60-69 0% 7% 0% -19% 99% 1%
70-79 0% 7% 0% -7% 100% 0%
80-89 0% 0% 0% . . . . . .
90+ 0% 0% 0% . . . . . .
Marital Status
Married 0% 9% 0%
Divorced 0% 2% 0%
Widowed 0% 0% 0%
Never Married 0% 0% 0%
Education
Graduate 0% 3% 0% -11% 97% 3%
Bachelor 0% 5% 0% -11% 98% 2%
Associate 0% 5% 0% -9% 100% 0%
High School 0% 6% 0% -11% 100% 0%
Less than 12 Yrs 0% 8% 0% -12% 100% 0%
Official Poverty
Above poverty 0% 5% 0% -11% 99% 1%
In poverty 0% 6% 0% -10% 100% 0%
Household Income Quintile
$175,526+ 0% 6% 0% -11% 99% 1%
$97,521 - $175,526 0% 6% 0% -11% 99% 1%
$57,224 - $97,521 0% 5% 0% -9% 100% 0%
$30,478 - $57,224 0% 5% 0% -9% 99% 1%
$0-$30,478 0% 4% 0% -13% 100% 0%
Current Law Benefit Type
Retired worker 0% 0% 0% -12% 71% 29%
Widow(er) 0% 0% 0% . . . . . .
Spouse -3% 60% 0% -11% 100% 0%
Disabled worker 0% 0% 0% . . . . . .
Source: SSA/Office of Retirement Policy, using MINT 7 Run: 03/09/2015 Ref #: PB0324v3
Notes: . . . = not applicable; — = sample size is too small.
Providing these estimates does not imply SSA support for the proposal, nor is SSA responsible for any interpretations of these estimates.
Table 2. Household income changes, 2030: Reduce Spousal Benefits to 33% vs. Scheduled
POPULATION: current law beneficiaries aged 60+
Characteristic All Beneficiaries Affected Beneficiaries
Median Percent Change Percent With Median Percent Change Percent With
Lower Income Higher Income Lower Income Higher Income
Total 0% 5% 0% -1% 56% 0%
Sex
Female 0% 5% 0% -1% 56% 0%
Male 0% 6% 0% -1% 58% 0%
Ethnicity/Race
Hispanic 0% 10% 0% -1% 69% 0%
White 0% 5% 0% -1% 52% 0%
Black 0% 3% 0% -1% 69% 1%
Other 0% 9% 0% -1% 60% 0%
Country of Birth
U.S. 0% 5% 0% -1% 53% 0%
Foreign 0% 11% 0% -1% 65% 0%
Age
60-69 0% 8% 0% -2% 76% 0%
70-79 0% 6% 0% 0% 41% 0%
80-89 0% 1% 0% . . . . . .
90+ 0% 0% 0% . . . . . .
Marital Status
Married 0% 9% 0%
Divorced 0% 2% 0%
Widowed 0% 0% 0%
Never Married 0% 0% 0%
Education
Graduate 0% 4% 0% -1% 55% 0%
Bachelor 0% 4% 0% 0% 46% 0%
Associate 0% 5% 0% 0% 49% 0%
High School 0% 6% 0% -1% 60% 0%
Less than 12 Yrs 0% 10% 0% -2% 72% 1%
Official Poverty
Above poverty 0% 5% 0% -1% 55% 0%
In poverty 0% 6% 0% -2% 70% 1%
Household Income Quintile
$175,526+ 0% 2% 0% 0% 19% 0%
$97,521 - $175,526 0% 6% 0% -1% 54% 0%
$57,224 - $97,521 0% 6% 0% -1% 62% 0%
$30,478 - $57,224 0% 7% 0% -2% 75% 0%
$0-$30,478 0% 6% 0% -3% 85% 1%
Current Law Benefit Type
Retired worker 0% 3% 0% -2% 91% 0%
Widow(er) 0% 0% 0% . . . . . .
Spouse 0% 33% 0% -1% 55% 0%
Disabled worker 0% 3% 0% . . . . . .
Source: SSA/Office of Retirement Policy, using MINT 7 Run: 03/09/2015 Ref #: PB0324v3
Notes: . . . = not applicable; — = sample size is too small.
Providing these estimates does not imply SSA support for the proposal, nor is SSA responsible for any interpretations of these estimates.
Table 3. Poverty, 2030: Reduce Spousal Benefits to 33% vs. Scheduled
POPULATION: current law beneficiaries aged 60+
Characteristic Poverty Rate Population Change (thousands)
Scheduled Option Change
Total 4.9% 5.0%
Sex
Female 5.3% 5.5%
Male 4.3% 4.4%
Ethnicity/Race
Hispanic 8.8% 9.0%
White 3.5% 3.6%
Black 9.0% 9.1%
Other 7.7% 7.9%
Country of Birth
U.S. 4.2% 4.2%
Foreign 8.8% 9.0%
Age
60-69 5.7% 5.9%
70-79 4.9% 5.0%
80-89 3.8% 3.8% 0.0% 0
90+ 2.5% 2.5% 0.0% 0
Marital Status
Married 1.9% 2.0%
Divorced 8.3% 8.5%
Widowed 5.8% 5.8% 0.0% 0
Never Married 17.0% 17.0% 0.0% 0
Education
Graduate 1.4% 1.4% 0.0%
Bachelor 2.2% 2.2%
Associate 3.6% 3.6% 0.0%
High School 6.1% 6.2%
Less than 12 Yrs 13.9% 14.2%
Official Poverty
Above poverty 0.0% 0.1%
In poverty 100.0% 100.0% 0.0% 0
Household Income Quintile
$175,526+ 0.1% 0.2% 0.0%
$97,521 - $175,526 0.1% 0.2% 0.0%
$57,224 - $97,521 0.3% 0.4% 0.0%
$30,478 - $57,224 0.8% 0.8% 0.0%
$0-$30,478 23.0% 23.4%
Current Law Benefit Type
Retired worker 4.6% 4.6% 0.0%
Widow(er) 5.0% 5.0% 0.0% 0
Spouse 5.5% 6.3%
Disabled worker 8.5% 8.5% 0.0% 0
Source: SSA/Office of Retirement Policy, using MINT 7 Run: 03/09/2015 Ref #: PB0324v3
Providing these estimates does not imply SSA support for the proposal, nor is SSA responsible for any interpretations of these estimates.
Table 4. Beneficiary characteristics, 2030: Reduce Spousal Benefits to 33% vs. Scheduled
POPULATION: current law beneficiaries aged 60+
Characteristic All beneficiaries Affected beneficiaries Beneficiaries with lower benefits Beneficiaries with higher benefits
Number (thousands) Percent Number (thousands) Percent Number (thousands) Percent Number (thousands) Percent
Total 73,810 100.0 3,988 100.0 3,966 100.0 22 100.0
Sex
Female 39,993 54.2 3,590 90.0 3,588 90.5 2 9.6
Male 33,817 45.8 398 10.0 378 9.5 20 90.4
Ethnicity/Race
Hispanic 7,865 10.7 638 16.0 638 16.1 . . . . . .
White 54,004 73.2 2,814 70.6 2,795 70.5 19 84.3
Black 7,559 10.2 196 4.9 196 4.9 . . . . . .
Other 4,382 5.9 340 8.5 337 8.5 3 15.7
Country of Birth
U.S. 62,372 84.5 2,939 73.7 2,917 73.6 22 100.0
Foreign 11,438 15.5 1,049 26.3 1,049 26.4 . . . . . .
Age
60-69 24,505 33.2 1,681 42.2 1,664 42.0 17 78.1
70-79 31,533 42.7 2,307 57.8 2,302 58.0 5 21.9
80-89 14,979 20.3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
90+ 2,793 3.8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Marital Status
Married 41,785 56.6 3,676 92.2 3,654 92.1 22 100.0
Divorced 13,632 18.5 305 7.7 305 7.7 . . . . . .
Widowed 12,828 17.4 7 0.2 7 0.2 . . . . . .
Never Married 5,566 7.5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Education
Graduate 8,636 11.7 231 5.8 224 5.7 6 27.4
Bachelor 13,936 18.9 729 18.3 716 18.1 13 58.3
Associate 16,752 22.7 908 22.8 906 22.8 1 6.1
High School 28,256 38.3 1,598 40.1 1,596 40.3 2 8.1
Less than 12 Yrs 6,230 8.4 523 13.1 523 13.2 . . . . . .
Official Poverty
Above poverty 70,205 95.1 3,763 94.3 3,741 94.3 22 100.0
In poverty 3,604 4.9 225 5.7 225 5.7 . . . . . .
Household Income Quintile
$175,526+ 14,762 20.0 949 23.8 940 23.7 9 42.0
$97,521 - $175,526 14,762 20.0 932 23.4 927 23.4 5 23.1
$57,224 - $97,521 14,763 20.0 722 18.1 719 18.1 3 12.3
$30,478 - $57,224 14,759 20.0 722 18.1 717 18.1 5 22.7
$0-$30,478 14,763 20.0 663 16.6 663 16.7 . . . . . .
Current Law Benefit Type
Retired worker 51,869 70.3 77 1.9 54 1.4 22 100.0
Widow(er) 12,154 16.5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Spouse 6,571 8.9 3,912 98.1 3,912 98.6 . . . . . .
Disabled worker 3,215 4.4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Source: SSA/Office of Retirement Policy, using MINT 7 Run: 03/09/2015 Ref #: PB0324v3
Note: . . . = not applicable.
Providing these estimates does not imply SSA support for the proposal, nor is SSA responsible for any interpretations of these estimates.
Table 5. Beneficiary Status, 2030: Reduce Spousal Benefits to 33% vs. Scheduled (in thousands)
POPULATION: current law or option beneficiaries aged 60+
Characteristic Current Law Beneficiaries Changes in beneficiary status under proposed option Policy Option Beneficiaries
Added Removed Net Change
Total 73,810 -18 -18 73,792
Sex
Female 39,993 -13 -12 39,980
Male 33,817 -5 -5 33,811
Ethnicity/Race
Hispanic 7,865 -4 -3 7,862
White 54,004 -12 -12 53,992
Black 7,559 0 0 7,559
Other 4,382 -2 -2 4,379
Country of Birth
U.S. 62,372 -9 -9 62,363
Foreign 11,438 -9 -9 11,429
Age
60-69 24,505 -18 -18 24,487
70-79 31,533 0 0 31,533
80-89 14,979 0 0 14,979
90+ 2,793 0 0 2,793
Marital Status
Married 41,785 -17 -16 41,768
Divorced 13,632 -2 -1 13,630
Widowed 12,828 0 0 12,828
Never Married 5,566 0 0 5,566
Education
Graduate 8,636 -2 -1 8,634
Bachelor 13,936 -5 -4 13,931
Associate 16,752 -8 -8 16,744
High School 28,256 0 0 28,256
Less than 12 Yrs 6,230 -3 -3 6,227
Official Poverty
Above poverty 70,205 -18 -18 70,187
In poverty 3,604 0 0 3,604
Household Income Quintile
$175,526+ 14,762 -7 -6 14,756
$97,521 - $175,526 14,762 -8 -7 14,754
$57,224 - $97,521 14,763 -3 -3 14,760
$30,478 - $57,224 14,759 0 0 14,758
$0-$30,478 14,763 0 0 14,763
Current Law Benefit Type
Retired worker 51,869 -2 -2 51,867
Widow(er) 12,154 0 0 12,154
Spouse 6,571 -16 -16 6,555
Disabled worker 3,215 0 0 3,215
Source: SSA/Office of Retirement Policy, using MINT 7 Run: 03/09/2015 Ref #: PB0324v3
Providing these estimates does not imply SSA support for the proposal, nor is SSA responsible for any interpretations of these estimates.