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Optimal Social Security Claiming Behavior under Lump Sum Incentives: Theory and Evidence

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Listed:
  • Raimond Maurer
  • Olivia S. Mitchell
  • Ralph Rogalla
  • Tatjana Schimetschek

Abstract

People who delay claiming Social Security receive higher lifelong benefits upon retirement. We survey individuals on their willingness to delay claiming later, if they could receive a lump sum in lieu of a higher annuity payment. Using a moment-matching approach, we calibrate a lifecycle model tracking observed claiming patterns under current rules and predict optimal claiming outcomes under the lump sum approach. Our model correctly predicts that early claimers under current rules would delay claiming most when offered actuarially fair lump sums, and for lump sums worth 87% as much, claiming ages would still be higher than at present.

Suggested Citation

  • Raimond Maurer & Olivia S. Mitchell & Ralph Rogalla & Tatjana Schimetschek, 2017. "Optimal Social Security Claiming Behavior under Lump Sum Incentives: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 23073, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23073
    Note: AG LS
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    Cited by:

    1. Maurer, Raimond & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2017. "Incentivizing older people to delay social security claiming," SAFE Policy Letters 57, Goethe University Frankfurt, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions

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