NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Social Security Expectations and Retirement Savings Decisions

Jeff Dominitz, Charles F. Manski, Jordan Heinz

NBER Working Paper No. 8718
Issued in January 2002
NBER Program(s):   AG   PE

Retirement savings decisions should depend on expectations of Social Security retirement income. Persons may be uncertain of their future Social Security benefits for several reasons, including uncertainty about their future labor earnings, the formula now determining social security benefits, and the future structure of the Social Security system. To learn how Americans perceive their benefits, we have elicited Social Security expectations from respondents to the Survey of Economic Expectations. We have also performed a more intensive face-to-face survey on a small sample of respondents. This paper presents the empirical findings. It also illustrates how data on expectations may help predict how Social Security policy affects retirement savings.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w8718

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