NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Effects of Social Security Policies on Benefit Claiming, Retirement and Saving

Alan L. Gustman, Thomas L. Steinmeier

NBER Working Paper No. 19071
Issued in May 2013
NBER Program(s):   AG   LS   PE

An enhanced version of a structural model jointly explains benefit claiming, wealth and retirement, including reversals from states of lesser to greater work. The model includes stochastic returns on assets. Estimated with Health and Retirement Study data, it does a better job of predicting claiming than previous versions. Alternative beliefs about the future of Social Security affect predicted outcomes. Effects of three potential policies are also examined: increasing the early entitlement age, increasing the full retirement age, and eliminating the payroll tax for seniors. Predicted responses to increasing the full entitlement age are sensitive to beliefs.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19071

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