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An Analysis of the Effects of Recent Social Security Reforms Using Aggregate and Public-Use Administrative Micro Data

AutorBenitez-Silva, Hugo; Yin, Na
Palabras claveRetirement Benefits
Social Security Reforms
Actuarial Fairness
Fecha de publicación9-abr-2008
ResumenIn the last few years the United States Social Security Old Age Benefit system has undergone some of the most significant changes since its inception. We have seen in a short period of time the implementation of the phased increase in the Normal Retirement Age (NRA) with the resulting increase in the penalty for claiming benefits early, the elimination of the Earnings Test for those above the NRA, and the incremental increase in the Delayed Retirement Credit (DRC) for those claiming benefits after the NRA. Since these changes have taken place only recently, there is relatively little research using household level data analyzing the consequences of all these changes. Using aggregate data from the Social Security Administration and a Public Use Micro-Data extract from the Master Beneficiary Record we are able to uncover a number of interesting trends in benefit claiming behavior and level of benefits receipt, which can help us understand how the changes in the system are shaping the retirement benefits claiming behavior of Older Americans. We find significant effects of the removal of the earnings test and the increase in the NRA, but very small effects as a result of the increases in the DRC.
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