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Social Security - benefits, incl. coverage

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Estimates of the Financial Effects on Social Security of H.R. 4584, the 'Student Security Act of 2017' (PDF)
"H.R. 4584 specifies that for every $550 (in 2018 dollars) in student loan balance that a person chooses to have forgiven, his or her [earliest eligibility age] and [normal retirement age] would be increased by one month.... [These] estimates [assume] that one-half of eligible student loan amounts would be forgiven with this offer.... [T]he long-range OASDI actuarial deficit would decrease from 2.83 percent of payroll under current law to 2.52 percent of payroll assuming enactment of the Bill." (U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA])
[Opinion] Alicia Munnell Explains the Social Security Fix No One Wants
"Policymakers should fix Social Security by raising taxes. Money doesn't come from heaven. It's going to have to come from someplace, and it should be done on the revenue side. We need to maintain benefits. People don't have anything else other than 401(k)s, and a significant portion of the population doesn't even have those." (ThinkAdvisor)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Publication 15 (Circular E): Employer's Tax Guide, for Use in 2018 (PDF)
70 pages. "What's New -- 2018 federal income tax withholding.... Employers should implement the 2018 withholding tables as soon as possible, but not later than February 15, 2018.... P.L. 115-97 suspends the exclusion for qualified moving expense reimbursements from your employee's income beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026.... Reminders: ... Severance payments are subject to social security and Medicare taxes, income tax withholding, and FUTA tax." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Public Employees: Avoid Big Surprises After You Retire -- Like a Major Reduction of Your Social Security Benefits
"[If] you have worked in a position(s) that was subject to Social Security and in a position(s) that was not subject to Social Security, it makes good sense to analyze whether you could be impacted by either the [Windfall Elimination Provision and/or the Government Pension Offset] and to determine if there is anything you would want to do to mitigate those impacts. As part of the process, it wouldn't hurt to check on the accuracy of your Social Security earnings record and your projected Social Security benefits." (Best Best & Krieger LLP)
[Official Guidance] Text of 2017 IRS Publication 915: Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits (PDF)
32 pages. "This publication explains the federal income tax rules for social security benefits and equivalent tier 1 railroad retirement benefits.... This publication covers the following topics. [1] Whether any of your benefits are taxable. [2] How to report taxable benefits. [3] How much is taxable. [4] How to treat lump-sum benefit payments. [5] Deductions related to your benefits, including a deduction or credit you can claim if your repayments are more than your gross benefits." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Avoid the $300,000 Retirement Mistake by Carefully Choosing Social Security Start Date
"Could you afford to give away $300,000 in retirement? ... [A]ccording to one financial expert, you could leave that much on the table by choosing the wrong strategy to claim your Social Security benefits." (WECT)
The Mortality Effects of Retirement: Evidence from Social Security Eligibility at Age 62
"Using mortality data that covers the entire U.S. population and includes exact dates of birth and death, we document a robust two percent increase in male mortality immediately after age 62. The change in female mortality is smaller and imprecisely estimated. Additional analysis suggests that the increase in male mortality is connected to retirement from the labor force and associated lifestyle changes." (National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER])
Social Security Primer (PDF)
17 pages. "This report provides an overview of Social Security financing and benefits under current law. Specifically, the report covers the origins and a brief history of the program; Social Security financing and the status of the trust funds; how Social Security benefits are computed; the types of Social Security benefits available to workers and their family members; the basic eligibility requirements for each type of benefit; the scheduled increase in the Social Security retirement age; and the federal income taxation of Social Security benefits." [Report R42035, Nov. 30, 2017] (Congressional Research Service [CRS])
Changes to CBO's Long-Term Social Security Projections Since 2016
"This report explains the changes to CBO's long-term Social Security projections since last year. Compared with those made in July 2016, CBO's latest projections indicate a slight improvement in the financial outlook for Social Security." (Congressional Budget Office [CBO])
Evaluating Lump Sum Incentives for Delayed Social Security Claiming
"[This Working Paper evaluates] the potential impact of a Lump Sum reform for delayed Social Security claiming.... [T]he Lump Sum delayed benefit plan does not dramatically change solvency outcomes ... [A]sset projections show that the lowest and middle-income groups accumulate substantially higher nest eggs under the Lump Sum delayed benefit plan.... [T]he Lump Sum reform ... outlined here has positive distributional consequences overall without costing the system more money." (Pension Research Council, The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania)
Five Important Ages for Retirement Planning
"At age 50, your employees will become eligible to save more the standard amount in their 401(k) and IRA accounts ... By waiting until the age of 59-1/2 to take a withdrawal, your employees will get to keep an additional 10% of their money.... Your employees will be able to sign up for Medicare during a seven-month period starting three months prior to their 65th birthday.... Baby boomers born between 1943 and 1954 will be eligible to begin claiming the full Social Security benefit they've earned at age 66.... Whether it's needed or not, they'll be required to take distributions from their traditional IRAs, traditional 401(k)s and Roth 401(k)s after age 70-1/2." (Voya)
[Official Guidance] Social Security Announces Benefit and Wage Base Increases for 2018
"The 2.0 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 61 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2018.... [T]he maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $128,700 from $127,200. Of the estimated 175 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2018, about 12 million will pay more because of the increase in the taxable maximum." (U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA])
Protect Your Social Security Benefits After Data Breaches
"The most secure action a person can take is to create their own 'my Social Security' account.... Social Security uses information in your credit file to verify your identity. If the file is frozen because of a security freeze, the agency can't find what it needs to ask questions to confirm that you are who you say you are. The agency uses what it calls an 'identity services provider.' Want to guess who that is? Equifax currently has the $4.3 million contract for one year to verify people's identities." (The Washington Post; subscription may be required)
Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2016
"Disability benefits were paid to almost 10.2 million people. Awards to disabled workers (706,448) accounted for 88 percent of awards to all disabled beneficiaries (799,330). In December, payments to disabled beneficiaries totaled more than $11.3 billion." (U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA])
Social Security Retirement Benefits: Claiming-Age Combinations Available to Married Couples
"This note explores the claiming rules, contingent situations, claiming-age combinations, and benefit amounts available to married couples with a range of respective birth years and own-record benefit levels. The sheer number and variety of claiming-age combinations would be overwhelming if a couple were to consider each one individually." [Research and Statistics Note No. 2017-01, released Sept. 2017] (U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA])
Social Security: The Trust Funds (PDF)
21 pages. "This report covers how the Social Security program is financed and how the Social Security trust funds work. It will be updated annually to reflect current projections of the financial status of the Social Security trust funds." [Report RL33028, Sept. 12, 2017] (Congressional Research Service [CRS])
[Opinion] Social Security: A Promise Breaking?
"While Social Security is not going 'bankrupt,' it's clear it will have to change in both a fundamental and disruptive way. For this reason, many financial professionals are telling their younger clients to plan on not receiving Social Security when they retire." (Fiduciary News)
What's the Maximum Possible Social Security Benefit in 2017?
"The average monthly Social Security payment for retirees was $1,360 in January 2017. But many retirees receive over $2,000 per month from the Social Security Administration, and the maximum possible benefit is $3,538 in 2017. However, qualifying for payments worth $3,000 or more requires some serious career planning throughout your life. Here's what you need to do to qualify for the maximum possible Social Security payment." (U.S. News & World Report)
[Discussion] WEPs and Governmental Defined Contribution Plans
"Does anyone know how Social Security's Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) would apply to a governmental defined contribution plan? For example, some governmental agencies have done away with DB plans as their Social Security replacement plan, and moved new hires into DC plans. Some of these new hires have Social Security earnings from prior jobs and are wondering how or if the WEP would apply to them." (BenefitsLink Message Boards)
Social Security Information for People Affected by Hurricane Harvey
"[USPS has provided] a list of Post Office locations ... where checks will be made available for pick-up beginning Friday, September 1.... Nearly all payments issued by direct deposit will arrive as scheduled.... For recipients in the affected areas who receive their payment through a Direct Express card, fees will be waived, even if they have evacuated out of the area.... Social Security has established three emergency payment locations in Texas[.]" (U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA])
Financial Effects on Social Security of the Save Social Security Act of 2017 (PDF)
22 pages. "Assuming enactment of the proposal, the projected trust fund reserve depletion year for theoretical combined OASDI and DI Trust Funds would be extended to 2064. Under current law, the projected trust fund reserve depletion year for the combined trust funds is 2034." (U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA])
How Early Retirement Reduces Projected Social Security Benefits
"Social Security benefits aren't actually reduced for those who retire early -- they simply stop accruing additional benefits when they stop working. But given that Social Security projects the assumption of work until full retirement age, it's crucial to recognize that actual benefits may be lower for those who retire early -- even if they wait until full retirement age to actually receive those benefits.... [At] a minimum, it's crucial to take a moment and look at the individual's inflation-adjusted historical earnings, to understand whether or how much of an impact not working to full retirement age may actually have on projected benefits!" (Nerd's Eye View)
An Actuarial Perspective on the 2017 Social Security Trustees Report (PDF)
11 pages. "The combined Social Security trust fund reserves are projected to become depleted during 2034, the same year as projected in last year's report. If changes are not implemented by that date, only about 77 percent of scheduled benefits would be payable after 2034, declining to 73 percent in 2091.... To bring Social Security into actuarial balance for the next 75 years ... changes equivalent to either an immediate increase of 2.76 percentage points in the payroll tax rate, or an immediate decrease of about 17 percent of benefits for all current and future beneficiaries, or some combination thereof, is required." (American Academy of Actuaries)
Estimates of the Financial Effects on Social Security of the 'Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act' (PDF)
22 pages. "Assuming enactment of the proposal, the projected trust fund reserve depletion year for theoretical combined OASDI and DI Trust Funds would be extended to 2059. Under current law, the projected trust fund reserve depletion year for the combined trust funds is 2034." (U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA])
Social Security Tips for Working Retirees
"If you claim your benefits and continue to work, there is an earnings restriction until you reach your full retirement age (FRA), 65-67, depending on the year you were born.... If your benefits have been reduced due to earning too much prior to reaching your FRA, you will get these benefits back at your FRA when your monthly Social Security check will be increased to account for benefits withheld earlier due to excess earnings.... Social Security benefits are subject to federal income taxes above certain levels of 'combined income.' ... When to claim Social Security benefits will be one of the most important decisions that you make regarding your retirement[.]" (Fidelity)
Social Security COLA Projected to Rise 2 Percent
"[T]he Social Security and Medicare trustees projected that Social Security recipients would receive a 2.2 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2018. It would be the largest increase since 2012, when the COLA rose 3.6 percent. Social Security recipients received no cost-of-living adjustment in 2015 and just 0.3 percent in 2016." (AARP)
[Opinion] Social Security Slouches Towards Insolvency
"Each year since 2010, Social Security has been operating at a cash flow deficit, meaning the annual costs exceed income from payroll taxes and the taxation of benefits. In 2022, the annual program costs will be more than total income, which also includes interest on the trust fund assets. At this point the trust fund will be drawn down. By 2034, the trust fund will be exhausted, at which point tax income would only be enough to pay for 77 percent of benefits." (Charles Blahous, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research)
Social Security Trustees: No Change for Combined Trust Fund Reserves Depletion Year
"In the 2017 Annual Report to Congress, the Trustees announced: The asset reserves of the combined OASDI Trust Funds increased by $35 billion in 2016 to a total of $2.85 trillion. The combined trust fund reserves are still growing and will continue to do so through 2021. Beginning in 2022, the total annual cost of the program is projected to exceed income. The year when the combined trust fund reserves are projected to become depleted, if Congress does not act before then, is 2034 -- the same as projected last year. At that time, there will be sufficient income coming in to pay 77 percent of scheduled benefits." (U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA])
Why Do More New Englanders Receive Disability Insurance Benefits for Mental Disorders?
"A greater share of people in New England states receive Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) benefits for mental disorders than the share nationwide.... [E]vidence suggests that demographics and economics play a large role, as does greater access to health insurance and health care." (Urban Institute)
Nine Ways to Retire on Social Security Alone
"Delay Social Security ... Do a Social Security do-over ... Maximize Social Security survivor benefits ... Eliminate debt ... Move to a less expensive locale ... Don't forget taxes ... Buddy up ... Take advantage of benefit programs ... Utilize freebies." (AARP)
Geographic Patterns in Social Security Disability Receipt
"In 2015, 1.8 percent of all 18- to 65-year-olds across the country received DI benefits because of mental disorders. That recipiency rate was markedly higher in Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The evidence suggests that access to and treatment from the health care system (which tend to be better in New England states) may help people identify their illnesses and contact the DI program and other services." (Urban Institute)
Delaying Social Security Claims (or Not)
"In general ... retirees who saved a ton of money don't need to worry much about delaying Social Security benefits. The benefits won't make much difference either way. At the other extreme, a large majority of Americans will have very little in the way of retirement savings. About half will have almost no savings. These retirees may need the income as soon as they retire and will not be able to postpone claiming." (The Retirement Cafe)
How to Maximize Social Security Retirement Benefits
"[1] Check your wage history on the Social Security statement ... [2] Know your full retirement age ... [3] The benefits and costs of working in retirement ... [4] Taxing Social Security benefits ... [5] Spousal benefits ... [6] Survivor benefits ... [7] Divorced spousal benefits." (Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants)
[Opinion] Why Raising Social Security's 'Full Retirement Age' Is a Bad Idea
"[T]he retirement age has little to do with how long people work, and a lot to do with how much money they get.... [As] the FRA rises from 66 to 67, the worker retiring at 62 sees his monthly benefit cut from 75% to 70%of the full benefit. The worker who increases his retirement age from 66 to 67 sees no cut in the monthly benefit but receives benefits for one less year, reducing his lifetime benefit. So raising the FRA is a cut in benefits either way." (Alicia H. Munnell, in MarketWatch)
Social Security Annual Statistical Supplement, 2016
"About 60.0 million persons received Social Security benefits for December 2015, an increase of 956,277 (1.6 percent) since December 2014. Seventy-two percent were retired workers and their spouses and children ... Seventy-one percent of the 40.1 million retired workers received reduced benefits because of entitlement prior to full retirement age. Relatively more women (74.1 percent) than men (68.8 percent) received reduced benefits." (U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA])
The Growing Gap in Life Expectancy by Income: Recent Evidence and Implications for the Social Security Retirement Age (PDF)
34 pages. "This report provides a brief overview of the concept of life expectancy, how it is measured, and how it has changed over time in the United States. While life expectancy may be studied in a variety of contexts, this report focuses on the link between life expectancy and [socioeconomic status], as measured by lifetime income. In particular, this report synthesizes recent research on [1] the life expectancy gap by in come and [2] the relationship between this gap and Social Security benefits. Finally, this report discusses the implications of this research for one type of Social Security reform proposal: increasing the Social Security retirement age." [CRS Report R44846, May 12, 2017] (Congressional Research Service [CRS])
Social Security and Total Replacement Rates in Disability and Retirement
"[A]bout half of the 10-percentage-point advantage in Social Security replacement rates for SSDI beneficiaries is due to the actuarial adjustment applied to retirement benefits, implying that career earnings are not that different between retired workers and SSDI beneficiaries. But total replacement rates are substantially lower for SSDI beneficiaries, which indicates that, despite Social Security's vital role in providing a reliable income source, SSDI beneficiaries have much lower post-career well-being than retired workers." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)
Social Security Benefits: What Retirees Get Right and Wrong
"[Certain] aspects of the Social Security program remain confusing to vast numbers of pre-retirees. For instance: 38% incorrectly believe they can easily switch their claiming strategy after making an initial choice.... Two-thirds do not realize you must file for benefits 3 to 4 months before receiving your first check.... Only a quarter know their full retirement age[.]" (Money)
An Experimental Analysis of Modifications to the Survivor Benefit Information within the Social Security Statement
"When workers are compelled to consider the effect that their claim age has on their survivor benefit, they appear to incorporate this into deciding when to claim. Each modification increased the expected claim ages of respondents by roughly one year relative to the control.... [It] was sufficient for respondents to merely see that their spouse would receive a lower survivor benefit at lower claim ages." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)
Social Security Retirement Benefits and Private Annuities: A Comparative Analysis
"This issue paper explains some key features of Social Security retirement benefits, focusing on program funding; benefit payments to retired workers, their spouses, and survivors; and benefit taxation. It then discusses key features of private annuities, including funding and payments, types and features, and taxation. In addition, this paper gives examples of the premiums needed to replicate Social Security retirement benefits and discusses the variables that affect the amount of annuity income. Lastly, this issue paper explains some of the risks of both the Social Security program and the private annuity industry." (U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA])
Innovative Strategies to Maximize Social Security Benefits (PDF)
20 pages. "No other vehicle can match the combination of inflation-fighting increases, longevity protection, investment risk elimination, and spousal coverage that Social Security delivers -- potentially making it one of the most valuable sources of retirement income. While the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 restricted the use of certain Social Security claiming techniques, there are many remaining strategies that can help maximize Social Security benefits and enhance retirement security." (Prudential)
Most Americans Maintain or Increase Spendable Income After Claiming Social Security (PDF)
"Three years after claiming, the median taxpayer in the study reported spendable income that was greater (103 percent) than spendable income in the year before claiming. Median replacement rates three years after claiming were higher for individuals in the lowest quintile of 1999 income (123 percent), and lower for the highest income (95 percent for the top 1 percent of the income distribution)." (Investment Company Institute [ICI])
Why Are U.S. Households Claiming Social Security Later?
"The Early Baby Boomer cohort was less likely to be fully retired than [the cohort of persons having 1931-1941 birth years] at both age 62 (36.7 percent vs. 44.0 percent) and age 64 (49.5 percent vs. 53.9 percent).... [T]he shift from DB towards DC plans was the biggest contributor to these declines, followed by better health. Changes to Social Security rules and improvements in mortality played smaller roles. Taken together, the four changes explain about 60 percent of the drop in full retirement at 62[.]" (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)
The Pros and Cons of Taking Social Security Early
[By] taking Social Security at age 62, you're only receiving 75 percent of potential benefits. By taking out proceeds at age 70 (the oldest age you can claim Social Security benefits), you're increasing your maximum potential returns by 8 percent for every year you delay benefits ... There are a few scenarios where it does make sense to take Social Security at age 62, and health ... is definitely one of them." (U.S. News & World Report)
Know What to Expect from Social Security Benefit Estimators
"[If] participants use one of the free tools analyzed in this report, they will likely receive reasonably accurate benefits estimates. However, depending on the tool, participants may be more or less likely to absorb, draw meaningful inferences about and act on information. Therefore, the differences in the way Social Security benefit estimators communicate results is key, because when it comes to retirement planning, accurate information is worth little without understanding and action." (Corporate Insight)
Strategies to Make the Most of Your Retirement Assets
"In the future, if the government has to increase taxes one of the first doors they may knock will be these type of accounts.... One strategy to review if standard deductions go up is the benefit of converting a portion of your qualified retirement asset to a Roth IRA.... Another option to avoid paying higher taxes in the future is to position a portion of your qualified money into a QLAC.... If tax rates go down and standard deductions increase; delaying your Social Security benefit could prove to be a solid long-term tax play." (Slott Report)
Older People's Willingness to Delay Social Security Claiming (PDF)
"[H]alf of the respondents would delay claiming if no work requirement were in place under the status quo, and only slightly fewer, 46 percent, with a work requirement. [The authors] also asked respondents how large a lump sum they would need with or without a work requirement. In the former case, the average amount needed to induce delayed claiming was about $60,400, while when part-time work was required, the average was $66,700. This implies a low utility value of leisure foregone of only $6,300, or about 10 percent of older households' income." (Michigan Retirement Research Center [MRRC])
OIG Report: $1 Billion Paid by Social Security to Individual Representative Payees Who Do Not Have a Social Security Number (PDF)
20 pages. "SSA is required to obtain the SSNs of representative payee applicants. SSA uses the representative payee's SSN to [1] verify the payee's identifying information; [2] determine whether the payee applicant is receiving Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income; [3] determine whether the applicant is a convicted felon; and [4] determine whether the applicant previously served as a representative payee and has a history of poor payee performance or misuse.... [OIG estimates] that 22,426 beneficiaries had an individual representative payee who did not have an SSN, and SSA had not followed its policy to retain the paper application.... From April 2006 to September 2016, SSA paid these representative payees about $1 billion." (Office of the Inspector General [OIG], Social Security Administration [SSA])
Social Security Begins to Increase the Retirement Age
"Most baby boomers can receive the full amount of Social Security they have earned at age 66. However, retirees who will turn 62 in 2017 need to wait an extra two months to collect their full Social Security payments. Starting this year the retirement age begins a gradual increase toward age 67. Here's how the older retirement age will impact how much you receive from Social Security." (U.S. News & World Report)
Social Security Full Retirement Age Increases Past 66
"[W]hile the full retirement age is now later -- which means starting benefits at age 62 is 'even earlier' and causes more of a reduction, while delaying until age 70 is 'less' of a delay and doesn't give as much of an increase -- the relative value of delaying Social Security benefits isn't substantively changed.... However, because of how early benefit reductions are calculated for survivor benefits, the new rules actually do substantially reduce the value of delaying widow(er) benefits for surviving spouses -- at least, if they're not also facing the Social Security Earnings Test!" (Michael Kitces in Nerd's Eye View)
Optimal Social Security Claiming Behavior Under Lump Sum Incentives: Theory and Evidence
"People who delay claiming Social Security receive higher lifelong benefits upon retirement. [The authors] survey individuals on their willingness to delay claiming later, if they could receive a lump sum in lieu of a higher annuity payment.... [E]arly 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." (Pension Research Council, The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania)
Social Security Benefits: What Married Couples Approaching Retirement Need to Know (PDF)
"Social Security benefits represent a valuable source of guaranteed income individuals can count as part of a retirement strategy. For married couples, a critical part of any Social Security claiming strategy is integrating Social Security benefits to take best advantage of the rules surrounding the claiming of benefits." (Prudential)
CBO Now Projects 31% Cut in Social Security Benefits Will Be Needed by 2031
"[CBO] is now reporting that the combined Social Security retirement and disability trust funds will be depleted in fiscal year 2029 -- five years earlier than the trustees of the two funds had projected earlier this year in their annual report.... CBO's projections on the following are lower than those by the Social Security Trust Fund trustees: [1] earnings subject to the program's payroll tax [2] labor force participation rates, productivity growth, lower inflation ... [3] fertility rates ... [4] real interest rates ... in the long run[.]" (ThinkAdvisor)
How Much Cash Would It Take to Get You to Delay Retirement?
"[Researchers] assigned an 'approximate actuarially fair' dollar amount of $60,000 to the value of waiting four years after people could first claim -- so, until age 66 -- to apply for their benefit. The researchers asked people between the ages of 50 and 70 to assume they were 62, single, and could afford to wait to claim.... Thirty-four percent said they'd take less than $60,000 if they didn't have to work during the wait; the average amount was $53,711. It fell to 30 percent if they had to work half-time during the wait, and the average dollar amount required to wait went up to $61,406." (Newsmax)
Illustrative Social Security Benefits for Retired Workers, Disabled Workers, and Survivors Scheduled Under Current Law (PDF)
"For a group of example workers with a range of full-lifetime average earnings levels at various ages in 2016, this note displays their current earnings at various ages in 2015, their full-lifetime average earnings, and the amounts they would expect to receive at benefit entitlement." (Office of the Chief Actuary, U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA])
Estimates of the Financial Effects on Social Security of H.R. 6489, the Social Security Reform Act of 2016 (PDF)
30 pages. "Assuming enactment of the plan, we estimate that the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds would be fully solvent (able to pay all scheduled benefits in full on a timely basis) throughout the 75-year projection period, under the intermediate assumptions of the 2016 Trustees Report. In addition, under this plan the OASDI program would meet the further conditions for sustainable solvency, because projected combined trust fund reserves would be growing as a percentage of the annual cost of the program at the end of the long-range period." (Office of the Chief Actuary, U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA])
A Comparison of Free Online Tools for Individuals Deciding When to Claim Social Security Benefits
"This note provides information on six publicly available online retirement planning tools that focus primarily or exclusively on the Social Security claiming decision. It explains their advantages and limitations, what types of information the tools require of the user (inputs), and what types of information the tools provide (outputs).... The six tools ... are available to the public, do not require the user to create an account with the organization, and are free to use." (U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA])
Comparing CBO's Long-Term Projections with Those of the Social Security Trustees (PDF)
32 presentation slides. "CBO's Projection of the 75-Year actuarial balance is larger than the Trustees' projection ... Two-thirds of the difference is explained by different projections of four major inputs ... Over the next 75 years, CBO projects, Social Security's outlays as a percentage of GDP will be higher, and revenues will be lower, than the Trustees project." (Congressional Budget Office [CBO])
Deferring Commencement of Social Security Benefits Is OK, Deferring Retirement Is Better -- Part 2
"[A recent study concludes] that the financial benefits of continuing to work an additional five years is much lower than the 40% figure [this author] previously developed.... In their analysis, the [study's] authors assume that the Earnings Test is a 'pure tax on benefits', i.e., they ignore the increase in future benefits that results. We respectfully disagree with the reasonableness of this assumption and, as a result, find the author's conclusion misleading." (Ken Steiner, FSA Retired)
The Social Security Retirement Age (PDF)
10 pages. "The full retirement age (FRA) is the age at which workers can claim full Social Security retired worker benefits. The size of the monthly benefits is affected by when the worker claims benefits. The worker's age when claiming benefits is compared with the FRA, and adjustments are made depending on the number of months before or after the FRA the worker claims benefits.... The FRA was 65 at the inception of Social Security, but has been gradually increased upwards, to 67 for those born in 1960 or later. Claiming benefits past age 70 does not increase the monthly benefits." [Report R44670, Oct. 28, 2016] (Congressional Research Service [CRS])

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