IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Potential Savings to Social Security from Means Testing


  • Dean Baker
  • Hye Jin Rho


Many people in policy debates have argued that means testing, or reducing Social Security payments to affluent beneficiaries, can be an effective way to save money for the program and to reduce the federal budget deficit. This paper examines the feasibility of saving money through various types of means tests and suggests that is likely to be very limited unless the means test is applied to individuals who are very much middle class by any reasonable definition. The percentage of benefits that go to affluent seniors is too small to make very much difference to the program’s finances.

Suggested Citation

  • Dean Baker & Hye Jin Rho, 2011. "The Potential Savings to Social Security from Means Testing," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2011-05, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  • Handle: RePEc:epo:papers:2011-05

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dean Baker, 2009. "The Housing Crash Recession and the Case for a Third Stimulus," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2009-10, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    social security; retirement; means testing;

    JEL classification:

    • H - Public Economics
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:epo:papers:2011-05. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.