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Exchanging Delayed Social Security Benefits for Lump Sums: Could This Incentivize Longer Work Careers?

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  • Jingjing Chai

    (Goethe University)

  • Raimond Maurer

    (Goethe University)

  • Olivia S. Mitchell

    (The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Ralph Rogalla

    (Goethe University)

Abstract

Social Security benefits are currently provided as a lifelong benefit stream, though some workers would be willing to trade a portion of their annuity streams in exchange for a lump sum amount. This paper explores whether allowing people to receive a lump sum as a payment for delayed retirement rather than as an addition to their lifetime Social Security benefits might induce them to work longer. We model the factors that influence how people trade off a Social Security stream for a lump sum, and we also examine the consequences of such tradeoffs for work, retirement, and life cycle wellbeing. Our base case indicates that workers given the chance to receive their delayed retirement credit as a lump sum payment would boost their average retirement age by l.5-2 years. This will interest policymakers seeking to reform the Social Security system without raising costs or cutting benefits, while enhancing the incentives to delay retirement.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center in its series Working Papers with number wp266.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp266

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  1. Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba & Mark J. Warshawsky, . "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," Pension Research Council Working Papers 97-9, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Erich Battistin & Agar Brugiavini & Enrico Rettore & Guglielmo Weber, 2009. "The Retirement Consumption Puzzle: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2209-26, December.
  3. B. Douglas Bernheim & Jonathan Skinner & Steven Weinberg, 2001. "What Accounts for the Variation in Retirement Wealth among U.S. Households?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 832-857, September.
  4. Olivia S. Mitchell & John W.R. Phillips, 2006. "Social Security Replacement Rates for Alternative Earnings Benchmarks," Working Papers wp116, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  5. Mullainathan, Sendhil & Brown, Jeffrey R. & Kling, Jeffrey R. & Wrobel, Marian Vaillant, 2008. "Why Don't People Insure Late Life Consumption? A Framing Explanation of the Under-Annuitization Puzzle," Scholarly Articles 2799056, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris I. Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Cyclical Dynamics in Idiosyncratic Labor Market Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 695-717, June.
  7. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2002. "The Social Security Early Entitlement Age in a Structural Model of Retirement and Wealth," NBER Working Papers 9183, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Francisco Gomes & Alexander Michaelides, 2005. "Optimal Life-Cycle Asset Allocation: Understanding the Empirical Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 869-904, 04.
  9. M.C.J. van Rooij & Annamaria Lusardi & R. Alessie, 2007. "Financial Literacy and Stock Market Participation," Working Papers 07-23, Utrecht School of Economics.
  10. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Sarah Tanner, 1995. "Is there a retirement-savings puzzle?," IFS Working Papers W95/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  11. Orley Ashenfelter & David Card, 2002. "Did the Elimination of Mandatory Retirement Affect Faculty Retirement?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 957-980, September.
  12. Jeffrey R. Brown & Arie Kapteyn & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2011. "Framing Effects and Expected Social Security Claiming Behavior," Working Papers 854, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  13. Saul Pleeter & John T. Warner, 2001. "The Personal Discount Rate: Evidence from Military Downsizing Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 33-53, March.
  14. Jingjing Chai & Wolfram Horneff & Raimond Maurer & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2011. "Optimal Portfolio Choice over the Life Cycle with Flexible Work, Endogenous Retirement, and Lifetime Payouts," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 15(4), pages 875-907.
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