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

Author

Listed:
  • Jingjing Chai

    () (Goethe University)

  • Raimond Maurer

    (Goethe University)

  • Olivia Mitchell

    () (Wharton School of Business)

  • 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 1.5-2 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jingjing Chai & Raimond Maurer & Olivia Mitchell & Ralph Rogalla, 2013. "Exchanging Delayed Social Security Benefits For Lump Sums: Could This Incentivize Longer Work Careers?," Discussion Papers 13-009, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:13-009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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, pages 2209-2226.
    2. Banks, James & Blundell, Richard & Tanner, Sarah, 1998. "Is There a Retirement-Savings Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 769-788.
    3. Jeffrey R. Brown & Jeffrey R. Kling & Sendhil Mullainathan & Marian V. Wrobel, 2008. "Why Don’t People Insure Late-Life Consumption? A Framing Explanation of the Under-Annuitization Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 304-309, May.
    4. van Rooij, Maarten & Lusardi, Annamaria & Alessie, Rob, 2011. "Financial literacy and stock market participation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, pages 449-472.
    5. John B. Shoven & Sita Nataraj Slavov, 2012. "When Does It Pay to Delay Social Security? The Impact of Mortality, Interest Rates, and Program Rules," NBER Working Papers 18210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. 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.
    7. 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, April.
    8. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2007. "Baby Boomer retirement security: The roles of planning, financial literacy, and housing wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 205-224, January.
    9. 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.
    10. Laitner, John & Silverman, Dan, 2012. "Consumption, retirement and social security: Evaluating the efficiency of reform that encourages longer careers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(7-8), pages 615-634.
    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. 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.
    13. Gustman, Alan L. & Steinmeier, Thomas L., 2005. "The social security early entitlement age in a structural model of retirement and wealth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 441-463, February.
    14. Jeffrey R. Brown & Arie Kapteyn & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2011. "Framing Effects and Expected Social Security Claiming Behavior," NBER Working Papers 17018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    17. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maurer, Raimond & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Rogalla, Ralph & Schimetschek, Tatjana, 2017. "Optimal social security claiming behavior under lump sum incentives: Theory and evidence," SAFE Working Paper Series 164, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    2. Raimond Maurer & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2016. "Older People’s Willingness to Delay Social Security Claiming," Working Papers wp346, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    3. 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:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • 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

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