Changing Longevity, Social Security Retirement Benefits and Potential Adjustments
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
We consider several measures of well-being in the analysis, including initial monthly benefits, lifetime benefits, and poverty status. We first simulate benefits as scheduled under current law to demonstrate the widening receipt of lifetime benefits across groups with different life expectancy at age 65. Then we simulate the two potential adjustments to retirement benefits, which have the practical impact of raising (lowering) benefits for those who have low (high) lifetime earnings. The adjustments lead to reductions in projected poverty among benefit recipients in the lower deciles of the distribution of lifetime earnings and no increase for those in higher deciles. The adjustments also narrow the gap in lifetime benefits among those in the highest and lowest lifetime earnings deciles.