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Future Beneficiary Expectations of the Returns to Delayed Social Security Benefit Claiming and Choice Behavior


  • Jeff Dominitz


  • Angela Hung


  • Arthur vanSoest

    (Tilburg University and RAND)


We report on our preliminary findings from an innovative module of survey questions in the RAND American Life Panel designed to measure willingness to delay take-up of Social Security benefits. Among respondents who expect to stop working full time prior to turning age 62, over 60 percent report that they expect to start claiming Social Security benefits after they turn 63--that is, they expect to delay claiming. In contrast, among those who expect to stop full-time work sometime from age 62 to age 70, only about onequarter expect to delay claiming beyond the retirement age. Another main finding arises from reported probabilities of delayed claiming in hypothetical choice scenarios. These probabilities tend to be quite high relative to previous findings on delayed claiming outcomes. This result is particularly striking for those who are presented with information about the so-called "break-even age" for delayed claiming rather than information about the total amount of benefits that must be foregone during the one year delay.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeff Dominitz & Angela Hung & Arthur vanSoest, 2007. "Future Beneficiary Expectations of the Returns to Delayed Social Security Benefit Claiming and Choice Behavior," Working Papers wp164, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp164

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brown, Jeffrey R., 2001. "Private pensions, mortality risk, and the decision to annuitize," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 29-62, October.
    2. Olivia S. Mitchell, 1999. "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1299-1318, December.
    3. James E. Duggan & Christopher J. Soares, 2002. "Actuarial Nonequivalence in Early and Delayed Social Security Benefit Claims," Public Finance Review, , vol. 30(3), pages 188-207, May.
    4. Jeffrey R. Brown & Mark J. Warshawsky, 2001. "Longevity-Insured Retirement Distributions from Pension Plans: Market and Regulatory Issues," NBER Working Papers 8064, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Coile, Courtney & Diamond, Peter & Gruber, Jonathan & Jousten, Alain, 2002. "Delays in claiming social security benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 357-385, June.
    6. Michael D. Hurd & James P. Smith & Julie M. Zissimopoulos, 2004. "The effects of subjective survival on retirement and Social Security claiming," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 761-775.
    7. Annamarie Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2005. "Financial Literacy and Planning: Implications for Retirement Wellbeing," Working Papers wp108, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    8. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
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    Cited by:

    1. Niels Vermeer, 2016. "Age Anchors and the Expected Retirement Age: An Experimental Study," De Economist, Springer, vol. 164(3), pages 255-279, September.

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