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How Changes in Social Security Affect Recent Retirement Trends

  • Alan L. Gustman
  • Thomas Steinmeier

According to CPS data, men 65 to 69 were about six percentage points less likely to be retired in 2004 than in 1992. CPS and Health and Retirement Study (HRS) data indicate a corresponding difference of 3 percentage points between 1998 and 2004. Simulations with a structural retirement model suggest changes in Social Security rules between 1992 and 2004 increased full time work of 65 to 67 year old married men by a little under 2 percentage points, about a 9 percent increase, and increased their labor force participation by between 1.4 and 2.2 percentage points, or 2 to 4 percent, depending on age. Social Security changes account for about one sixth of the increase in labor force participation between 1998 and 2004, for married men ages 65 to 67. These rule changes encourage deferring retirement from long term jobs, returning to full time work after retiring, and increasing partial retirement. Although married men in their fifties decrease their participation in the labor force over this period, this is not due to changes in Social Security, but may reflect other factors, including changes in disability.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14105.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14105.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Publication status: published as Alan L. Gustman and Thomas L. Steinmeier. "How Changes in Social Security Affect Recent Retirement Trends". Research on Aging. March, 2009. Vol. 31, No. 2: 261-290.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14105
Note: AG LS PE
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  1. Courtney Coile & Peter Diamond & Jonathan Gruber & Alain Jousten, 1999. "Delays in Claiming Social Security Benefits," NBER Working Papers 7318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Anderson, Patricia M & Gustman, Alan L & Steinmeier, Thomas L, 1999. "Trends in Male Labor Force Participation and Retirement: Some Evidence on the Role of Pensions and Social Security in the 1970s and 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 757-83, October.
  3. Joseph F. Quinn, 1999. "Has the Early Retirement Trend Reversed?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 424, Boston College Department of Economics.
  4. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas Steinmeier, 2007. "Projecting Behavioral Responses to the Next Generation of Retirement Policies," NBER Working Papers 12958, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2002. "Retirement and the Stock Market Bubble," NBER Working Papers 9404, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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