Panel Paper: Sticky Ages: Why Is Age 65 Still a Retirement Peak?

Friday, November 9, 2012 : 10:05 AM
Poe (Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Norma Coe and Matthew S. Rutledge, Boston College

Cohorts impacted by the increased Full Retirement Age (FRA) have begun to retire.  While a new FRA peak has emerged, an age-65 claiming peak remains in the aggregate statistics.  This project will explore the reasons behind the “stickiness” of age 65.  It will test two hypotheses using the Health and Retirement Study and the Survey of Income and Program Participation.  The first hypothesis is Medicare eligibility, which will be tested by examining access to alternative sources of health insurance among age-65 claimers.  The second is a lack of knowledge about the financial incentives to further delay retirement, which will be tested by assessing how well age-65 claimers answer specific Social Security benefit questions.  The findings are important in determining the distributional effects of the current changes in the FRA.  This work also will aid in assessing future policy changes, such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, changing the Medicare eligibility age, or additional increases in the FRA.